Bitter Angelim Hardwood (Vatairea lundellii)


Caralillo, Bitter angelim - Vatairea lundellii


Scientific Name
Vatairea lundellii


Other Names
Mora (Nicaragua, Costa Rica), Amargoso (Honduras), Angelim, Faveira (Brazil), Caralillo, Bitterwood, Amargo (Panama), Danto, Ramon (Guatemala)




General Description

Bitter Angelim, or Mora as it is known in Nicaragua, is a large tropical tree that with a range throughout Central America. When freshly cut, its grain is bright yellow, darkening with esposure to a medium brown. Because it is durable and stable, but also very attractive, Bitter Angelim is used for a variety of purposes from furniture to interior and exterior construction.



Whether machining or working by hand, Bitter Angelim is a highly workable hardwood that responds well to gluing and use of fasteners. Using sharp cutting tools for planing, chiseling, turning, etc. will ensure results of a high caliber, although the blunting affect is moderately high.



Caralillo, Bitter angelim - Vatairea lundellii


Vatairea lundellii’s heartwood dries at a moderately slow rate, in a consistently stable manner, developing few defects. Once dry, it is an easy hardwood to seal, readily accepting finishes and treatments. Kiln schedules T5-D3 and T3-D2 are recommended for 4/4 and 8/4 stocks, respectively.



Overall, a very durable tropical hardwood, Bitter Angelim possesses high natural resistance to both dry wood borers, like termites, and rotting. Its grain, also responds to preservative treatments well, making it a preferable choice for exterior construction.



Furniture, doors, windows, structural components (interior and exterior), joinery, decking, railroad crossties, veneers, paneling, cabinetry



Technical Data*

Janka hardness: 1,420 lbs

Density: 753 Kg/m3, 0.75 g/cm3

Bending strength: 14,600 psi

Modulus of Elasticity: 1,790 (1,000 psi)

Tangential shrinkage: 7.4%

Radial shrinkage: 3.4%

* all values given at 12% moisture content



Download more Bitter Angelim info here:
- FSC description

- USDA Forest Service description
- CIRAD description

- CUPRAFOR description




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