Bocote is a hard, dense, and fairly oily tropical wood that comes from parts of central and South America where it is highly prized for its dramatic, wild striping. It has a few common uses, the most interesting being butt stocks for rifles, knife handles, and guitar bodies. It also smells faintly of pickles when being worked. These dark brown or black streaks give Bocote its defining look and lend finished products a truly distinctive yellow and black appearance.
Bocote may refer to several central American Species of “Cordia” in Spanish. The generic name honours German botanist and pharmacist Valerius Cordus (1515-1544). Like most other Boraginaceae, the majority have trichomes (hairs) on the leaves. In bloom,Cordia has has beautiful white flowers. Bocote was a go-to for the Maya civilization where they used Bocote for crafting intricate carvings and sacred objects.