Chlorocardium rodiei

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Chlorocardium rodiei
Greenheart (13927555000).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Magnoliids
Order: Laurales
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Chlorocardium
Species: C. rodiei
Binomial name
Chlorocardium rodiei
(M.R.Schomb.) Rohwer et al.
  • Nectandra rodiei
  • Ocotea rodiei

Chlorocardium rodiei (greenheart) is a species of flowering plant in the family Lauraceae. It is one of two species in the genus Chlorocardium. It is native Guyana and Suriname in South America.[1] Other common names include cogwood, demerara greenheart, ispingo moena,[1] sipiri, bebeeru and bibiru.

It is an evergreen tree growing 15 to 30 m tall with a trunk diameter of 35 to 60 cm. The leaves are oppositely arranged and simple with smooth edges. The fruit is a drupe containing a single seed.

Greenheart wood was used to build the gate for the Manchester Dock in Liverpool.

The cyclic bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloid rodiasine was first isolated from this species. The wood is extremely hard and strong, so hard that it cannot be worked with standard tools. It is durable in marine conditions, so it is used to build docks and other structures, and it was an early choice for fly fishing rods. An estimated 15 to 28% of the original population has been harvested. The species' use as a commercial timber began in the late 18th century, but most of the harvesting has taken place since the introduction of chainsaws in 1967.

The Fram and the Endurance, made famous in the polar expeditions of Amundsen and Shackleton, were the two strongest wooden ships ever constructed and were sheathed in greenheart to prevent them from being crushed by ice.

Greenheart wood is often sought for construction projects in parts of the Caribbean, where wood ants are problematic in conventional pine wood construction. It was also used to build the dock gates in Liverpool, such as the Manchester dock gate.


  1. ^ a b c Red List Standards & Petitions Working Group. 2007. Chlorocardium rodiei. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. Downloaded on 24 July 2013.

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