Yellowheart (Euxylophora paraensis)

Yellowheart (Euxylophora paraensis)

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Common Name(s): Yellowheart, Pau Amarello

Scientific Name: Euxylophora paraensis

Distribution: Brazil

Tree Size: 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 52 lbs/ft3 (825 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .67, .83

Janka Hardness: 1,790 lbf (7,950 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 16,810 lbf/in2 (115.9 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 2,413,000 lbf/in2 (16.64 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 10,080 lbf/in2 (69.5 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 5.6%, Tangential: 6.7%, Volumetric: 12.0%, T/R Ratio: 1.2

Color/Appearance: Heartwood color ranges from pale to golden yellow, darkening only slightly with age. Sapwood is a pale yellow/white.

Grain/Texture: Grain is usually straight, though some figured pieces may have wavy or interlocked grain. Fine uniform texture and a naturally high luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; large pores in no specific arrangement, few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; heartwood deposits occasionally present; growth rings indistinct; narrow to medium rays visible without lens, normal spacing; parenchyma not visible with lens.

Rot Resistance: Rated as moderately durable in decay resistance, with mixed reports on its resistance to insect attacks.

Workability: Yellowheart is normally easy to work with hand or machine tools, though it can be more difficult if interlocked or figured grain is present. Yellowheart also has a moderate blunting effect on cutters. Glues and finishes well.

Odor: Yellowheart has a mild, unpleasant smell when being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity: Yellowheart has been reported to cause skin irritation in some people. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: A commercially important and widely harvested timber in Brazil. Good availability as lumber in a variety of widths. Should be fairly inexpensive for an imported hardwood.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Flooring, furniture, boatbuilding, accents, and turned objects.

Comments: Commonly referred to as Pau Amarello— which is Portuguese for “yellow wood”—few woods are as consistent and vibrant a yellow as Yellowheart. The wood is also sometimes sold as Brazilian Satinwood, though it is not to be considered a true satinwood.

Yellowheart has an unusually high amount of radial shrinkage when compared to its tangential shrinkage, giving it a remarkably low T/R ratio.

Related Species:

None available.

Related Articles:

Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Steve Earis for providing the turned photo of this wood species.

Yellowheart (sanded)

Yellowheart (sanded)

Yellowheart (sealed)

Yellowheart (sealed)

Yellowheart (endgrain)

Yellowheart (endgrain)

Yellowheart (endgrain 10x)

Yellowheart (endgrain 10x)

Yellowheart (turned)

Yellowheart (turned)

Yellowheart (32" x 3.6")

Yellowheart (32″ x 3.6″)



  1. Bruce Graybill November 1, 2018 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    Yellow heart is becoming increasingly harder to find. I am hearing rumors that it is on the endangered list. Do you know if there is any truth to this?

  2. Jim Fellows May 26, 2018 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    I find no mention in the Wood database of Yellowwood -Cladrastis lutea or Cladrastis K. The wood is said to be notable because it is bright yellow. Yet I cannot find a single actual photo of this wood online. The Morton Arboretum has extensive information on this domestic tree but mention nothing about lumber.

    • Eric May 29, 2018 at 3:01 pm - Reply

      I do have a sample of yellowwood but have not yet added it to the site yet. Sorry!

  3. Bob March 15, 2018 at 11:41 am - Reply

    Let’s be honest, it smells like cat pee when you cut it. And use a sharp blade, because if you burn it when you’re cutting, it’ll stink up your shop something terrible. But when it is finished it is one of the most fantastic colours you have ever seen.

  4. Eric April 4, 2013 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    Not sure about burning rubber smell, but I don’t like how it smells. It’s one of the few wood scents that I really can’t bring myself to appreciate at all; I just think it stinks.

  5. Trevor April 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Yellowheart smells awfully strange, like a cross between burnt rubber and burning plastic is this yellowheart? Need answers.

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