Scientific Name: Lysiloma bahamensis
Also known as: Caribbean Walnut, Mayan or Aztec Walnut, Wild Tamarind, Tzalan, Calam, Frijolillo, Sabicu, Abey
Origin: Yucatan, Belize, Caribbean Islands, Bahamas
Traditional Uses: Flooring; Cabinetry; Fine Furniture; Doors, Turnery
Often marketed as “Caribbean Wlanut, Mayan Walnut, or Aztec Walnut” by the flooring industry, Tzalam does not actually belong to the traditional walnut genus (Juglans) that most people think of, rather Tzalam is part of the Lysiloma genus that produces feathery foliage with long flat seed pods.
Sometimes compared to Hawaiian Koa, Tzalam has variegated heartwood consisting of medium and light brown colorations with sporadic hues ranging between orange, amber and red. Over time, these colors will mute down to a more subdued nature. Tzalam sapwood is a pale white, and exhibits a straight, open grain that can be lively at times. Tzalam readily takes a high polish and is considered an easy wood to work with.
Tzalam is a popular choice on the Caribbean coast for pool loungers and other exterior furniture due to its ability to stand up to the elements while maintaining a nice visual appeal.
In the United States, Tzalam is quickly rising to the top of the desired list for high end wood floors as well as hand scraped engineered wood flooring. Contact Savage Woods about a dedicated load of Caribbean Walnut – Tzalam.
Tonal Qualities are reported to be good. In 1999 Martin Guitars released 30 Dreadnoughts utilizing Tzalam Back and Sides before tombstoning the effort due to production complications. See Guitar #24 Here.
Specific Gravity: 0.82
Hardness: 1400 Janka
Density: 43 pcf
Tangential Movement: 6%
Radial Movement: 3%
Durability: Very Good
Examples of Tzalam: Note: links may take you to 3rd party Websites