Although its nickname is “Brazilian Walnut,” Imbuia bears little aesthetic resemblance to any members of the Juglans (true walnut) genus beyond its typical brownish colors. Grain patterns are generally wild and unpredictable, and occasional sap content can create a rather stunning contrast, with its rich, (typically) pale to medium muted golden hues. Although published data would leave on to surmise that it shares a very similar density with that of walnut (which it often does), Imbuia can be significantly more dense, at times, depending on growing conditions.
Sustainability: This species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Furniture, cabinetry, flooring, veneer, boatbuilding, gunstocks, and turned objects.
Comments: Premium-grade examples of the species will feature unpredictable figuring, which compliments what we’ll call “delightfully irregular” grain patterns. This is a truly unique wood, and, while its supply in the US has never been large — keeping it off of a lot people’s radar — it seems to have experienced a steady decline over the last few years.
Large boards are not uncommon (when the species can be located and sourced), as fully mature trees can boast an impressive height and girth — it’s just not that readily available an exotic wood.