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Lesser Known Species


As the sustainability of tropical hardwoods is questioned by consumers, as well as architects and designers, projects like this one aggressively address those concerns and make a positive impact on the communities surrounding the tropical forests that provide timber. 


Increased use of lesser known species (LKS) helps to promote sustainable forest management in developing countries and provides a critical economic incentive for local communities to manage forests rather than convert them to farms and ranches. 


Learn more about  Environmental Groups Supporting Lesser Known Species.



IWPA has worked to identify lesser known species (LKS) from around the world that have the greatest potential for the U.S. market. Whether used in applications like decking, flooring, mouldings and millwork, or veneer, these species have been deemed by a panel of IWPA experts to have the technical qualities and availability to meet the needs of architects, designers, manufacturers, and consumers. 


If you are looking to source any of these lesser known species, search



The links below contain technical data on the species provided by the USDA Forest Products Lab. Images of species will be added as they become available. Please visit the USDA Forest Product Lab for more information about LKS and tropical hardwood species. 


Hura, Acacu, Catahua, Ochoo 

Hura, Acacu, Catahua, Ochoo

(Hura crepitans)



Pale yellowish brown to pale olive gray with a high luster. Machines easily, finishes well, but it may have tension wood zones that produce fuzzy and torn surface in planing. It is also easy to glue and nail. The sapwood is not distinct from the heartwood. Usually straight-grained but may be interlocked. Texture varies, with very good to excellent gluing properties. 



Technical Data




Red mandioqqueira, Mandio 

Red Mandioqueira, Mandio
(Qualea spp.)



Pinkish brown to reddish brown with golden luster in some species. Texture medium to coarse. Glues satisfactorily.


Technical Data



Cuta, San Domingo - Boxwood
(Phyllostylon rhamnoides)

Yellowish to yellow with a straight grain.  Easy to work with and possesses good finishing characteristics.  Very durable.  Used for flooring, decking and construction.



(Antiaris spp.)  

Chenchen is another name for this abundant African wood that is valued for its light color and ability to absorb stain. Also known as "white sapele" or "white mahogany" due to its grain pattern. Antiaris is perfect for veneer, paneling and furniture.


Technical Data


(Ocotea rodiaei)

Varies from light to dark olive green or nearly black. Very resistant to decay fungi and termites.  Used in marine applications, industrial flooring and decking.

Technical Data


(Brosimum utile)

Color is yellowish white to yellowish to light brown.  Sande stains, finishes and glues with ease.  Used in plywood, furniture components and moulding.

Technical Data

Santa Maria

(Calophyllum brasiliense)

Heartwood is pinkish beige/pink light brown with thin darker veins.  Finishes and glues well.  Pre-drilling recommended.  Used for veneer, paneling, furniture and flooring.

Technical Data 


(Cedrelinga catanaeformis)

Wood is pale brown. Tornillo is a "working wood" known for its strength and weather resistence. It is mostly used as a general construction wood

Technical Data


(Apuleia leiocarpa)

Garapa is in the yellow-beige to yellow-brown spectrum.  Will age to a silver gray without sealer.  Very dense and rot resistent.  Very good workablity.  Most valued for exterior decking.

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