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Exotic Hardwood Choices: Rabo de Iguana

Posted on December 8th, 2011 In: News, Wood Floor Repairs News

Rabo de ignana, which translates to mean “tail of the iguana lizard” is a high-density exotic hardwood used for both factory and household flooring.  A product of the Latin American nations of Columbia, Venezuela, and Peru, rabo de iguana goes by several trade names including huilca, bocachico, carbonero and carabali.

The botanical name of the tree species that produces this wood is Piptadenia pittieri.  Individual trees may grow as tall as 65 feet, though trunk diameter rarely exceeds about two feet across.  However, this wood is highly desired because the species grows largely without branches, leading to very few knot holes in the finished wood product.  It is not unusual for stretches of trunk to be branch-free for up to 50 feet – most of the tree’s entire height.

Rabo de iguana is also appreciated by woodworkers and those shopping for flooring because it possesses a texture that varies from fine to medium that is highly lustrous.  Grain is highly variable, however, with some planks exhibiting a very straight, regular pattern while others are quite irregular in their grain lines.  The heartwood is usually either reddish brown or yellowish brown, while the sapwood can be almost whitish in colour, though in some cases the heartwood and sapwood can be almost indistinguishable.

This wood should be fully sealed after each wood floor repair or wood floor restoration because otherwise, it can be susceptible to decay because of the action of insects and fungi.  With proper sealing a rabo de iguana floor can remain beautiful for many years.

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