Spanish-cedar heartwood is pinkish to reddish-brown and has
prominent growth rings. The color darkens slightly on exposure to light.
Timber from fast-grown trees is paler in color and lighter in weight than
that from slowly grown trees. The wood is soft. Its texture is fine and
even, and the grain is straight. It has a
lustrous appearance and a pleasant, distinctive cedary odor
that is especially noticeable when the wood is freshly surfaced. The wood
may have a bitter taste.
Easy to work and finish, Spanish-cedar takes smooth polish. The wood has good dimensional stability when manufactured. In proportion to its weight, it is strong.
In the past, Spanish-cedar was exported to Europe and North America for cigar boxes. Currently, Spanish-cedar is the most important local timber for domestic use in
tropical America. Spanish-cedar is also a preferred wood for furniture, cabinetry, doors and windows, interior trim and carved figures. Because the wood is resistant
to insects and aromatic, it is used for clothes chests. It is a favorite timber for the hulls of light racing boats and is used in making musical instruments. The
wood is also used to make veneer and plywood.