Species and Common Names

Growing Region

Specific Gravity


Wood Movement1 Durability sustainability

Availability Size: Thicknesses Widths Lengths Cost: Lumber Veneer

Peltogvne pubescens and others— purpleheart, amaranth, violetwood

Mexico south to Brazil

52 to 60 lbs. per cubic ft.

Tangential (flatsawn): small (7/32 in. per ft.) Radial (quartersawn): very small (3/32 in. per ft.)

Heartwood highly resistant to fungal attack and moderately resistant to insect attack

Sustainable at current harvest levels

Hardwood lumber dealers

4/4 through 12/4

$4 to 56 per bd. ftdepending on thickness 95 cents per sq. ft.

slowly through your jointer and planer and to take light passes.

Purpleheart turns cleanly and easily with sharp tools, but it leaves a sticky resin on them, which must be cleaned off with alcohol occasionally. The wood glues well with aliphatic, polyurcthane and cyanoacrylate adhesives, and it sands easily. It can be polished to a high luster. The use of screws or other fasteners requires prcboring. Purplchcart steam bends moderately well.


Purplchcart lumber is often used as a furniture acccnt wood or for boxes, jewelry, and novelties. It's also preferred for billiard cue butts. Architectural applications include flooring and paneling. The heartwood, which is very durable and resistant to chcmicals and acids, is even used to make chemical vats. Veneers are used for inlay, marquetry and overlay of furniture and cabinet surfaces. ▲

1 Indicates wood movement across the gram from 6 to 12 percent moisture content.

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