Botanical Name

Cordia spp.

Other Common Names

Alete, Cordia, Light American, Cupane, Ecuador Laurel, Laurel, Laurel de Costa, Laurel Negro, Peterebi, Salmwood, Siricote.


Most species come from Mexico and Central/South America, though certain species occur in Africa.

The Tree

The size of the trees is reported to vary from small to large, sometimes reaching 100 feet  in height. The trees are reported to be often sparsely distributed over a wide range.


The heartwood color ranges from nearly white to golden brown, with irregular reddish to dark brown streaks.


Luster variable; texture fine to medium, grain variable; taste not distinctive; scent mild fragrant, at least when fresh. Heartwood is rated from moderately durable to very durable depending on the species; it is susceptible to insect attack.

Working Properties

The material is reported to be easy to plane. It responds very well to both hand and machine tools and works to yield smooth, finished surfaces in almost all machining operations.


Fine furniture, cabinet work, turnery, flooring, rotary and sliced veneer, and rifle stocks.


Bocote is reported to be very scarce, and is priced in the high range when available.