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Dipteryx odorata

Dipteryx odorata (syn Coumarouna odorata) of the family Fabaceae (syn Leguminosae) the legume, pea, or bean family. May also include Dipterix micrantha.

Also, there is another species, Dipteryx micrantha, that is more commonly called shihuahuaco and probably SHOULD be distinguished from cumaru, but so many dealers blend the two, and list Dipteryx odorata as shihuahuaco, that it is just not realistic to seperate it out, so it's here too.

SO ... while I say at the top of this page that cumaru is Dipteryx odorata, it is possible (but less likely) that if you buy "cumaru", you will get Dipteryx micrantha or Dipteryx micrantha instead of Dipteryx odorata, but true shihuahuaco (Dipteryx micrantha) seems to be a pretty obscure wood, at least in the USA --- it is generally found in Peru where it is used for flooring, outdoor carpentry and other places where its hardness and durability are useful.

Cumaru is a large South American rainforest tree that produces a very grainy but dense and heavy wood; it is sometimes sold as "Brazilian chestnut". The tree produces a berry called the tonka berry and the wood is also sold under the common name tonka, among many others. Lumber color tends to run a wide range over red/brown.

my samples:

both sides of a sample plank of cumaru / Dipteryx spp. --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.

end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above

END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above

plank and end grain

end grain closeup of the piece directly above, although I see I got it upside down

END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above

flooring sample and end grain, listed as cumaru --- actually, this was listed as "Brazilian teak" which is just a made-up marketing name used by flooring companies, and has nothing to do with the wood and is not used outside of flooring companies, but the alternate name cumaru was also given. When I took this out of the box, I thought it was ipe, and I still point out that even down to the details in the end grain closeup it looks very much like ipe but I do believe it is probably cumaru.

A NOTE ABOUT COLOR --- I don't know whether this piece has turned more red during the 8 or so years it's been sitting in my sample boxes or if I just did a bad job originally of correcting the color of the pics, BUT ... when I did the end grain update below I noticed that this piece is noticibly more red than is shown here and the color in the end grain update is accurate.

end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above

plank and end grain

end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above

plank and end grain

plank and closeup. Actual color is not as red as shown. See the pics directly below of a smaller plank cut from this one. Those pics have accurate color.

plank and end grain --- this was cut from the larger plank directly above

end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above

plank and closeup

plank and end grain

end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above

plank --- grain shows better in the enlargements; color is quite accurate. Just for grins, I've also posted the vendor's pic of the same plank as it appeared on eBay. This is an HONEST vendor, by the way, just one who cannot afford the time to do color correction on all of the hundreds of pics he has posted at any one time.

both sides of a small piece --- the first pic is a freshly sanded side and the next pic is of a side showing a slight age patina

end grain, end grain closeup, and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above

A flooring sample with a thin layer of cumaru on plywood (so no end grain shots). It was labeled "Southern chestnut" and since I can't find that common name in any reputable source so I assume it is a flooring industry made up name. It is typical of the flooring industry to just make up names for woods. I'm not even 100% sure this is cumaru but the face grain looks like it and what little there is to be seen in the end grain supports that.

web pics:

plank with wet and dry sections

end grain closeups of pieces listed as shihuahuaco / Dipteryx odorata

flat cut planks that have been moistened for the pics


planks listed as shihuahuaco / Dipteryx odorata

planks listed as shihuahuaco

flat cut and quartersawn planks listed as shihuahuaco / Dipteryn odorata

plank listed as cumaru / Dipterix micrantha

plank listed as cumaru / Brasilian chestnut

scales listed as Brazilian chestnut

planks sold as tonka; I'm confident that the purple color in the last pic is incorrect

planks with a color that I am confident is just silly

plank listed as "camara" which is a name I can't find anywhere, but "camare" IS an alternate name for cumaru, so I'm guessing cumaru is probably what this wood is

flooring sold as cumaru

flooring sold as shihuahuaco / Dipteryx odorata

flooring listed as shihuahuaco

all-around tongue-and-grooved cumaru flooring plank