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Cordia dodecandra

Ziricote wood can be immediately recognized by its heartwood which is various shades of black with irregular wavy black streaks, lines and variegations on a tan background. The black markings may curve, run diagonally, or may be at nearly right angles to the main axis of the tree. The white sapwood is often left on the boards to provide a handsome contrast to the black heartwood. The wood is hard, heavy and strong. It has a more or less oily or waxy appearance, a medium luster, straight grain, and attractive ray flecks on the tangential surface. The texture is fine to medium and not always uniform. When freshly cut, the wood has a slight odor.

Ziricote is not difficult to work and carves and turns nicely. It finishes very smoothly and attractively and takes a high polish. The wood is stable in use.

Uses include fine furniture, cabinetry, turnings, rifle butts, doors, paneling, flooring and face veneer on plywood. Sometimes it is cultivated for its fruit, which can be eaten raw or made into a conserve. In the past, the bark and wood were used to make cough syrup and the very rough leaves were used as sandpaper.

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