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Imbuia (Brazilian Walnut)

Wood Flooring Species

Not so long ago imbuia was a commonly used exotic wood. However, because it is a threatened species, the import of this wood has ceased, making it a rare commodity. County Floors has in stock probably the last load of imbuia lumber anywhere in the U.S. We can custom-mill it into various widths, and we also have thicker material available for stair treads and moldings. Although imbuia is nicknamed “Brazilian walnut,” it is not to be confused with Ipe, which shares the same nickname but is a completely different type of wood).

Scientific Name:

Phoebe porosa

Other Names and Species:

Brazilian Walnut
Canella Imbuia


Southern Brazil


The tone and color variation to be found in this wood resembles that of American walnut — hence the nickname “Brazilian walnut.” The heartwood of imbuia may be either plain in appearance or beautifully figured and variegated, with the color ranging from a yellowish tone or olive all the way to chocolate brown. By contrast, the distinct sapwood tends be be grayish in color. Imbuia is a highly lustrous wood with a rather fine texture and a grain that ranges between straight and curly or wavy (it has been variously described as burly, quilted, and bubbly).


One of the most important commercial species in Brazil, imbuia is quite hard and dense, and it is noted for its resistance to marring, denting, and wear. Freshly cut, the wood has a resinous taste and scent that is almost spicy, but it loses this characteristic when dried.

Janka Hardness: 950

Imbuia is one-third harder than Douglas-fir, just under two-thirds as hard as hard maple, about fifty-eight percent as hard as wenge, and about forty-three percent as hard as santos mahogany’s ranking of 2200.


The wood of imbuia, which is resistant to decay, saws and machines satisfactorily, and it takes stains and finishes quite well.

Principal Uses:

Imbuia is often used in wood flooring and decorative veneers, as well as in the manufacture of fine furniture and cabinet work, paneling, joinery, guitars, and gunstocks.

Learn more about available grades of
Imbuia hardwood flooring »

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P.O. Box 440
Warrensburg, New York 12885

phone: (518) 623-9339 • email: [email protected]

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