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RAIN TREE (Samanea saman)

Trade Name

Rain tree

Scientific Name

Samanea saman (Jacq.) Merril



Common Names

Bordao de velho (Brazil); Ohai (Hawaii); Saman (Mexico); Rain tree (Fiji); Kihudjau, Trembesi (India); Kampoo (Thailand); Monky Pod (Philippines)

Scientific Name Synonyms

Pithecolobium saman Benth

Description Of The Tree

Botanical Description

Evergreen, 20~30m tall. Usually has a short, massive trunk which divides into wide spreading branches.Tree may have originated from Venezuela.

Natural Habitat

Fast-growing species,prefers low-lying areas,gregarious

Natural Distribution

The West lndies, Central and Sauth America. Planted Hawaii,Fiji,Pacihic area, Sauth-east Asia

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Wood Identification

Anatomic Description Of Wood

Wood diffuse porous. Simple perforation plates. Vestured pits. Vessel-ray pits similar to intervessel pits in size and shape. Intervessel pits large, 10 micras or more. Vessels per mm2 less than 6 (rare). Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty and/or vasicentric. Axial parenchyma aliform. Axial parenchyma confluent. Prismatic crystals in chambered axial parenchyma cells and/or in fibers. Occasionally rays more than 10 per mm (abundant). Fibers with simple to minutely bordered pits. Larger rays more than 4 seriate. Ray width 1 to 3 cells. Homogeneous rays and/or sub-homogeneous rays (all ray cells procumbent).


Cites Status


General Wood Description


Heartwood is a lustrous pale brown to Pinkish -brown colour with dark brown streak. Sapwood is distinct, straw coloured, 60mm or more wide.

COLOR INDEX (1=Black, 7=Light yellow,white)



The grain is interlocked often quite severely.


Texture is intermediate, although vessels are conspicuous because of surrounding soft tissue.



Natural Durability

Durability rating variable reported to be. Durable under water. Heartwood reported to be resistant to termites, Liable to blue-stain. Heartwood is not durable. Sapwood highly susceptible to Lyctus attack

Natural durability index (1= Very high durability, 7=Vey low durability)


Wood Physical Properties

Basic Density or Specific Gravity (O.D. weight/vol. green) (g/cm³)


Air-dry Density (Weight and volume at 12%MC) (g/cm³)


Total shrinkage Tangential (Saturated to 0%MC) (%)


Total shrinkage Radial (Saturated to 0%MC) (%)


Drying Defects

Ease of Drying: Sarosaro dries rapidly but even under miled conditions backsawn stock develops surface checks, most of which are shallow enough in 25mm material to be removed by machining. Some boards wrap slightly, but final steaming is not recommended as checks reopen. Kiln Schedules: about 6 days are required to kiln dry from green to 12%m.c. reduced to 3 1/2 day of preliminary air drying to 25% is under taken. A 24 hour high humidity trearment shuold follow kiln drying. 50mm stoke; Prelimnary air drying to 20% m.c. is recommmended. F

Dimensional stability ratio (Total Tangential Shrinkage %/Total Radial Shrinkage %)


Wood Chemical Properties

Wood Mechanical Properties

Bending Strength (MOR),12%MC (kgf/cm²)


Stiffness (MOE) 12%MC (kgf/cm²)


Compression parallel to fiber 12%MC (kgf/cm²)


Shear strength radial 12%MC (kgf/cm²)




Tension wood may be encountered causing excessive springing and fibrous sawn surfaces packed with sawdust.

Rotary Veneer Cutting

logs selected for relatively straight grain and good figure could yield high quality sliced veneer.

Sliced Veneer

logs selected for relatively straight grain and good figure could yield high quality sliced veneer.


Despite the relatively low density, air dry machining properties are below average. Radial surfaces suffer some moderate to rough chipping because of interlocked grain. Soft tissue surrounding the vessels tend to give rough radial surfaces.


End Uses Summary

HOUSING GENERAL, beams, boards, frames, panelling, FURNITURE AND CABINETS, luxury furniture, cabinets, PLYWOOD AND VENEER, faces, cores, SPORTS, bowling polo balls, OTHER AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, handicrafts

General Housing
  • 10 - Silica in Timbers
  • 11 - Prospect: The wood database
  • 13 - Dry kiln schedules for commercial woods. Temperate and tropical. Section III. Latin American (Mexico, Central, and South America) Woods–Conventional Temperatures
  • 16 - Woods of the World
  • 18 - W3TROPICOS Missouri Botanical Garden
Furniture Cabinets
  • 21 - Tropical timbers of the world. Part III-Southeast Asian and Oceanian Species.
Furniture, Luxury
  • 22 - Dry kiln schedules for commercial woods. Temperate and tropical. Section IV-Asian and Oceanian Woods
  • 24 - Empire Timbers
  • 26 - Annual Review and Assessment of the World Timber Situation 1998-ITTO
  • 27 - Embassy of Brazil in Japan
Balls Bowling Polo
  • 40 - Internet
  • 66 - Maderas latinoamericanas. VII. Caracteristicas anatomicas. propiedades fisicomecanicas, de secado, y tratabilidad de la madera juvenil de Cordia alliodora (Ruiz & Pav. Oken.)

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