Fabaceae Or Leguminosae - The Legume Family
Amarante, Amaranth, Coracy, Guarabu', Koroboreli, Morado, Nazareno, Palo Morado, Pau Ferro, Pau Roxo, Pelo Morado, Purperhart, Saka, Sakavalli, Tananeo, Violetwood
Both Interior and Exterior
Flooring, Millwork, Mouldings
Purpleheart grows from Sao Paulo in Brazil to Trinidad and Panama.
The sapwood, which is usually 2 to 4" wide in a mature tree, is usually a whitish to cinnamon-pink color. The sapwood may contain light brown streaks. The heartwood is a dull brown when cut, but turns a bright purple color upon exposure to light and air. Extended exposure will cause the heartwood to become a purplish-brown to almost black color. While the grain is typically straight it can be wavy, ropey, and irregular. The texture is medium to fine.
Tooling needs to be very sharp when working with Purpleheart, if not likely hood of gum being exuded increases. The gum not only sticks to the tooling but will cause it to become blunt. Pre-boring for nailing and screwing is recommended. In its native lands Purpleheart is often used for structural purposes, but in the United States is it usually used in visual and decorative applications dues to its cost.