Botanical Name

Lysiloma spp.(L. bahamense and L. latisiliquum)

Other Common Names

Abey, Caribbean Walnut, False Tamarind, Frijolillo, Sabicu (Cuba), Tavernon (Haiti)


Mexico/Central America, and Greater Antilles

The Tree

A spreading tree with a rather short trunk of 65 feet with a 3 foot in diameter and sometimes free of branches for 25 feet. Appearance-wise, T’zalam can closely resemble Koa Fluorescent.


Heartwood is lustrous brown with a coppery or purplish tinge. Dark brown streaks are common. Clearly demarcated from heartwood, the thin sapwood is a pale grayish white, sometimes seen with curly grain patterns.


Texture medium; grain straight to roey.

Working Properties

Considered easy to work, though T’zalam may blunt tool edges faster than usual. Turns, glues, finishes smoothly, and takes a high natural polish.


Furniture, wheel wright work, interior trim, veneer, and small wood items.


For an imported tropical species, prices likely to be moderate. Boards with curly or figure grain are likely to be considerably more expensive.