Ziricote Exotic Wood Zone
 Common Name This tree is also known by Ziricote, Ciricote, Siricote, and Ziracote.
Scientific Name Cordia dodecandra
Distribution The Ziricote tree is found in southern Mexico, Central American countries like Belize, Guatemala, etc.
Tree Size This tree can attain a height of 30-65 ft (10-20 m) tall, with a trunk diameter of 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk.
Dried Weight ( average ) 50 lbs/ft3 (805 kg/m3).
Specific Gravity 65, .81
Janka Hardness 1,970 lbf (8,780 N)


This really unique looking wood known to the scientific community as  Cordia dodecandra is a small tree in the borage family and a close relative of the Bocote. Native to Southern Mexico and parts of Central America this tree gives a hard dense wood with a medium to a fine texture. It has a pronounced grain pattern which gives it a fine texture. As s wood is of high density it will take satin-like smooth finish on simple sanding.

This elite wood is very rare and expensive. Earlier this wood was not as expensive as it is now as it was available in plentiful before. Due to the recent trends in Mexico which includes high levels of poaching and over-harvesting. These factors have affected the supply and availability of this wood and now it is rated expensive. If these actions are not brought under control by the authorities, in the near future this wood will be subjected to the actions of CITES very soon.

The patterns and marking on these woods have been compared to many natural and abstract designs such as landscapes, spiderwebs, grain patterns, marbled swirls, cloud bursts, mountains, valleys, and other captivating patterns. The use of this wood would provide a beautiful allure and mystique to space and brighten it up completely. A really unique-looking wood, Ziricote has only a few imitators; maybe solely the occasional piece of patterned Dalbergia nigra exhibits an equivalent spider-webbing grain figure.

The Ziricote is fairly workable ie. it cuts, turns, glues, and responds to finish easily. It is easy and stable to work with by hand as well as machines and tools. It responds well to steam bending and can hold screws and nails even without prior boring into the wood. Preferably this wood is majorly quarter sawn as by doing so it displays ray-like or flake like patterns which improves the look of the wood. 

Ziricote is reported to be naturally resistant to decay and the attack of insects and pests. This wood is also deemed to be very durable. It has also been shown to cause cross-reactions once an allergic sensitivity to certain woods has been developed. Woods that can cause initial sensitivity include Pau Ferro, Macassar Ebony, Cocobolo, and most rosewoods

The Ziricote wood is commonly used to make superior quality furniture, veneer, lumber, cabinetry, gunstocks, musical instruments, etc. This wood responds to carving beautifully and is often sought after for sculptors. Other than the use of wood for lumber purposes, the bark of this tree has medicinal properties. 

Color and appearance: The color of this wood ranges from medium chocolate to dark brown, generally with either a green or purple hue, with darker bands of black growth rings intermixed. This gives the wood a more abstract art form. Ziricote incorporates a very distinctive look, that is usually cited as “spider-webbing” or “landscape” grain figure. Quartersawn surfaces can even have ray flakes similar in look to those found on quarter sawn Hard Maple. The sapwood can be easily differentiated from the heartwood with its pale yellow color that slowly deepens to form a golden tan. The pale yellowish sapwood is usually incorporated into styles for an aesthetic result, or to chop down on wastage.

Grain and texture: The grain is straight to slightly interlocked. Medium to fine texture, with a decent natural luster. Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; large to very large pores in no specific arrangement, few; tyloses sometimes present; parenchyma vasicentric, confluent; wide rays, spacing traditional to wide.

Workability: Overall, Ziricote is fairly simple to figure considering its high density. The wood tends to develop end and surface checks throughout drying, which may be problematic: although the wood is stable once dry. Also, pieces are typically out there in slim boards or turning squares, with the wood being quite common. Ziricote turns and finishes well, and in most instances, it can even be glued with no issues. On rare occasions, the wood’s natural oils will interfere with the gluing and finishing process. It is suggested that the oils should be first removed before starting these processes. 

Odor: Ziricote incorporates a delicate, characteristic scent while being worked, somewhat just like the smell of Pau Ferro.

Availability: Likely to be quite overpriced, surpassing the worth of some rosewoods, and approaching the value of some forms of ebony. Also, planks of Ziricote usually have varying amounts of pale sapwood enclosed, which may contribute to high wastage if not incorporated into a project. This wood species have not been listed within the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of vulnerable species. But given the increase in demand for the wood and to satisfy that demand this wood is being illegally poached and over-harvested in Mexico. All these factors if not taken care of quickly will help this wood to get into the vulnerable categories lists.

Common Uses: The Ziricote wood is used to make superior quality furniture, veneer, lumber, cabinetry, gunstocks, musical instruments (acoustic and electrical guitars), turned objects, and alternative little specialty wood things. This wood responds to carving beautifully and is often sought after for sculptors. Other than the use of wood for lumber purposes, the bark of this tree has medicinal properties. The tea which is made from the infusion of the bark is used as a traditional medicine in Mexico for the ailment of diseases like cough, diarrhea, and dysentery.

Here is the few finished product's images:

Ziricote Bowl Blank
Ziricote Bowl Blank
Ziricote Guitar Sets
Ziricote Guitar Sets
Ziricote Pen Blanks
Ziricote Thin Stock Lumber
Ziricote Turning Blanks

Frequently asked Questions


The Ziricote wood has high oil content and to get the best result on finishing these oils should be removed first and foremost. With the help of acetone wipe with a good amount of solvent. Finishing the Ziricote tends to be fairly easy. The application of super blonde shellac flakes should be done. Blend only enough to induce an awfully skinny liquid. The shellac is kept for drying for forty-eight hours before employing a very skinny coat of the varnish. Let dry and repeat many times.


Ziricote is an exotic wood native to the Central American countries of Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico. It is a tough, dense wood, with a medium texture. The color ranges from brownness to dark brown with uncommon black streaks.


Ziricote is one amongst the most in style, visually hanging exotic woods within the world. renown for its “landscape” or “spiderweb” grain patterns, its colors vary from medium to dark shades of brown (occasionally with either a green or violet tint) and are accentuated by intermingled bands of unpredictable, irregular black growth rings. Sapwood is definitely distinguishable by its boring off-white to straw hue. Although it's a reasonably dense wood, it is typically straight (though generally slightly interlocked) grains and fine to medium-fine texture provides it cooperative operating properties — because it cuts, turns, glues, and finishes smoothly.


The tone of Ziricote is between Indian rosewood and Makassar Ebony, with even a lot of clearly than the first one, and a lot of harmonics than the second one. concerning its physical attributes, this wood is dense and hard, which makes Ziricote a good choice for fingerboards.


Ziricote is found from Florida south through the Caribbean islands to Brazil. Most of the harvesting happens in Central America, specifically Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. It is a little, slow-growing tree, generally 30 to 60 feet high with diameters of up to 3 feet.