Pilon (Hyeronima alchorneoides and H. laxiflora)

Pilon is an imported hardwood


The two main species of pilon are Hyeronima alchorneoides and H. laxiflora, also referred to as suradan. These species range from southern Mexico to southern Brazil including the Guianas, Peru, and Colombia. Pilon species are also found throughout the West Indies.


The heartwood is a light reddish brown to chocolate brown or sometimes dark red; the sapwood is pinkish white. The texture is moderately coarse and the grain interlocked. The wood air-dries rapidly with only a moderate amount of warp and checking. It has good working properties in all operations except planing, which is rated poor as a result of the characteristic interlocked grain. The strength of pilon is comparable with that of true hickory (Carya), and the density of air-dried wood ranges from 736 to 849 kg/m3 (46 to 53 lb/ft3). Pilon is rated moderately to very durable in ground contact and resistant to moderately resistant to subterranean and dry-wood termites. Both heartwood and sapwood are reported to be treatable with preservatives by both open tank and pressure vacuum processes.

Primary Uses

Pilon is especially suited for heavy construction, railway crossties, marinework, and flooring. It is also used for furniture, cabinetwork, decorative veneers, turnery, and joinery.

*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.