Other Common Names:
Palo morado (Mexico), Morado (Panama, Venezuela), Tananeo (Columbia),
Koroboreli (Guyana), Purperhart (Surinam), Amarante (French Guiana), Pau
roxo, Guarabu (Brazil), Violetwood (English trade).
Distribution: Center of distribution in the north-middle part of the Brazilian Amazon region; combined range of all species from Mexico through Central America and southward to southern Brazil.
The Tree: Trees grow to heights of 170 ft with diameters to 4 ft, but usually 1.5 to 3 ft; boles are straight, cylindrical, and clear 60 to 90 ft above buttresses up to 12 ft. high.
Heartwood brown when freshly cut becoming deep purple upon exposure,
eventually turning to a dark brown sharply demarcated from the off-white
sapwood. Texture medium to
fine; luster medium to high, variable; grain usually straight, sometimes
wavy, roey, or irregular; without distinctive odor or taste.
Weight: Basic specific gravity
(ovendry weight/green volume) varies with species from 0.67 to 0.91;
air-dry density 50 to 66 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (First
set of data based on the 2-in. standard;
second on the 2-cm standard; third on the 1-in.
Janka side hardness ranges from 1,860 lb to 3,920 lb at 12% moisture
content. Forest Products
Laboratory toughness at 12% moisture content ranges from 157 to 398
in.-lb. (5/8-in. specimen).
Drying and Shrinkage: Reports
vary, from air-dries easily to moderately difficult; dries slowly to
fairly rapidly; with almost no degrade to some warping and splitting Kiln
schedule T6-D2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-D1 for 8/4.
Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 3.2%; tangential 6.1%;
volumetric 9.9%. Stability
after manufacture or movement is rated as small.
Working Properties: Moderately
difficult to work with either hand or machine tools, dulls cutters, exudes
a gummy resin when heated by dull tools; slow feed rates and specially
hardened cutters are suggested. Turns
smoothly, easy to glue, and takes finishes well.
Durability: Heartwood is rated
as highly durable in resistance to attack by decay fungi; very resistant
to dry-wood termites; but little resistance to marine borers.
Preservation: Heartwood is
reported to be extremely resistant to impregnation with preservative oils;
sapwood is permeable.
Uses: Turnery, marquetry, cabinets, fine furniture, parquet flooring, tool handles, heavy construction, shipbuilding, many specialty items (billiard cue butts, chemical vats, carving).
Source: US Forest Service