Santa Maria (Calophyllum brasiliense)

Santa Maria is an imported hardwood


Santa Maria (Calophyllum brasiliense) ranges from the West Indies to southern Mexico and southward through Central America into northern South America.


The heartwood is pinkish to brick red or rich reddish brown and marked by fine and slightly darker striping on flat-sawn surfaces. The sapwood is lighter in color and generally distinct from the heartwood. The texture is medium and fairly uniform, and the grain is generally interlocked. The heartwood is rather similar in appearance to dark red meranti (Shorea). The wood is moderately easy to work and good surfaces can be obtained when attention is paid to machining operations. The wood averages about 608 kg/m3 (38 lb/ft3) at 12% moisture content. Santa Maria is in the density class of sugar maple (Acer saccharum), and its strength properties are generally similar; the hardness of sugar maple is superior to that of Santa Maria. The heartwood is generally rated as moderately durable to durable in contact with the ground, but it apparently has no resistance against termites and marine borers.

Primary Uses

The inherent natural durability, color, and figure on the quarter-sawn face suggest that Santa Maria could be used as veneer for plywood in boat construction. Other uses are flooring, furniture, cabinetwork, millwork, and decorative plywood.

*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.