Santos Mahogany
Formal Name: Myroxylon balsamum

Other Names: Balsamo, Cabriuva Vermelha, Cedro Chino, Chirraca, Estoraque, Incienso, Nabal, Navo, Palo de Balsamo, Quina, Sandalo, Tache, Tolu

Wood Description

Santos Mahogany ranges from light orange-brown tones to a dark reddish-brown in color. The white sapwood is sharply demarcated from the heartwood. It has a fine, even texture and tight grain that is quite often interlocked. It is an extremely dense hardwood that is a popular wood for both its durability and beauty, with a surface that can have a medium to high luster.


Santos Mahogany is found widely throughout Central and South America, from southern Mexico southward down to Argentina.

Working Properties

Because of its hardness, it can be moderately difficult to work. With sawing and machining a challenge, carbide tooling is recommended for Santos Mahogany. It sands beautifully to a high natural polish, however, and has good holding ability. Because of the density, pre-drilling is required for all nails and screws.

Main Uses

Santos Mahogany is typically found in wood flooring, turnery, interior trim, fine furniture, cabinets, entry doors, stairs and moldings.