Parota Slabs from M.Bohkle

Parota Slabs from M. Bohlke Lumber

The folks at M.Bohlke sent us an email about a new species they are handling. Native to South America, Parota has different names depending on the region (Huanacaxtle, also spelled Guanacaste, is the most common). This species can grow up to 100 feet in height with trunks usually between 5-8 feet in diameter. Because of these large diameters, equally large live edge slabs are attainable. M. Bohlke’s live edge slab inventory currently consists of Parota ranging from 9-10’ in length, 27” to 54” wide and 2-3+” in thickness. These sizes don’t equate to super heavy weights, either. In fact, Parota is much lighter than other imported hardwoods they carry.

Parota live edge slab heartwood ranges from light to medium brown and can have a reddish hue, with a pale-yellow sapwood that is clearly demarcated from the heartwood. Darker brown streaks are also common. The company says that it thinks this species looks similar to Monkeypod, and that the working characteristics are comparable as well. Although Parota isn’t as widely known as Monkeypod, so coming across it isn’t as common, working it is considered easy with both hand and machine tools. It has a coarse texture and takes a range of finishes well, alongside its natural luster. Once surfaced, Parota’s spectacular coloring pops. By using a combination of water and denatured alcohol, the company highlights the grain of its available slabs (pictured at top). Conference tables, educational environments and other gathering spaces are a few examples of perfect settings for this very handsome wood.

Located in a western suburb of Mexico City, the custom furniture manufacturer Parotas has a beautiful website dedicated to this species, and shows some of the products that it builds from parota wood there, such as the end-grain coffee table with live edge shown here.