GREENHEART Nectandra The Greenheart tree (Nectandra rodioei), which is a member of the Laurel family, grows in British Guiana and some adjacent parts of South America, as well as in the West Indies.
The wood is hard, strong, tough, and very heavy. The colors of the heartwood vary from dark green to chestnut brown, selected pieces presenting an exceptionally rich appearance when finished. The quality of durability, which is partly due to the presence of an alkaloid, known as " biberine," is so remarkable that the wood has earned a world-wide reputation. Greenheart is one of the best of all construction timbers and, although seldom seen in the United States, is used abroad for docks, bridges, keels, rollers, flooring, wagons, carriage-shafts, furniture, and belaying pins. All of the gates, piers, and jetties of the Liverpool Docks, and the lock gates of the Bridgewater and Manchester Canals, were built of this wood. Pieces used in the construction of the Canada Dock, which was built in 1856, were used again in the reconstruction of that work in 1894. Greenheart was specified for the sills and fenders of the lock gates of the Panama Canal. The Antarctic ship, Discovery, and Nansen's ship, The Fram, were built of it.'