The wood commonly called parana pine (Araucaria angustifolia) is a softwood but not a true pine. It grows in southeastern Brazil and adjacent areas of Paraguay and Argentina.
Parana pine has many desirable characteristics. It is available in large-size clear boards with uniform texture. The small pinhead knots (leaf traces) that appear on flat-sawn surfaces and the light or reddish-brown heartwood provide a desirable figure for matching in paneling and interior woodwork. Growth rings are fairly distinct and similar to those of eastern white pine (Pinus strobus). The grain is not interlocked, and the wood takes paint well, glues easily, and is free from resin ducts, pitch pockets, and pitch streaks. Density of air-dried wood averages 545 kg/m3 (34 lb/ft3). The strength of parana pine compares favorably with that of U.S. softwood species of similar density and, in some cases, approaches that of species with higher density. Parana pine is especially strong in shear strength, hardness, and nail-holding ability, but it is notably deficient in strength in compression across the grain. The tendency of the kiln-dried wood to split and warp is caused by the presence of compression wood, an abnormal type of wood with intrinsically large shrinkage along the grain. Boards containing compression wood should be excluded from exacting uses.
The principal uses of parana pine include framing lumber, interior woodwork, sashes and door stock, furniture case goods, and 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.