Sucupira, angelin, and para-angelim apply to species in four genera of legumes from South America. Sucupira applies to Bowdichia nitida from northern Brazil, B. virgilioides from Venezuela, the Guianas, and Brazil, and Diplotropis purpurea from the Guianas and southern Brazil. Angelin (Andira inermis) is a widespread species that occurs throughout the West Indies and from southern Mexico through Central America to northern South America and Brazil. Para-angelim (Hymenolobium excelsum) is generally restricted to Brazil.
The heartwood of sucupira is chocolate-brown, red-brown, or light brown (especially in Diplotropis purpurea). Angelin heartwood is yellowish brown to dark reddish brown; paraangelim heartwood turns pale brown upon exposure to air. The sapwood is generally yellowish to whitish and is sharply demarcated from the heartwood. The texture of all three woods is coarse and uneven, and the grain can be interlocked. The density of air-dried wood of these species ranges from 720 to 960 kg/m3 (45 to 60 lb/ft3), which makes them generally heavier than true hickory (Carya). Their strength properties are also higher than those of true hickory. The heartwood is rated very durable to durable in resistance to decay fungi but only moderately resistant to attack by drywood termites. Angelin is reported to be difficult to treat with preservatives, but para-angelim and sucupira treat adequately. Angelin can be sawn and worked fairly well, except that it is difficult to plane to a smooth surface because of alternating hard (fibers) and soft (parenchyma) tissue. Paraangelim works well in all operations. Sucupira is difficult to moderately difficult to work because of its high density, irregular grain, and coarse texture.
Sucupira, angelin, and para-angelim are ideal for heavy construction, railroad crossties, and other uses that do not require much fabrication. Other suggested uses include flooring, boat building, furniture, turnery, tool handles, and decorative veneer.
*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.