DRAMATIC HARDWOOD THAT IS PURPLE TO THE CORE
Various species of the genus Peltogyne are known as purpleheart, the main ones being P. pubescens, P. porphyrocardia and P. venosa, but one thing is clear: the lumber is purple. It is even-grained, with a moderate texture, and there is little distinction between
quartersawn and slab-sawn sides. The color is largely consistent, though there can be slightly darker bands, and the wood turns dark brown with age.
Type Tropical hardwood
Species P. pubescens, P. porphyrocardia, P. venosa, P. confertiflora, P. paniculata, P. purpurea
Alternatives Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata), African padauk (Pterocarpus soyauxii)
Sources Tropical South and Central America
Grain Varies from straight through wavy to interlocking
Weight Heavy (58 Ib./cu. ft.) (930 kg/cu. m)
Strength Good, though not easy to bend
Seasoning and stability Fairly stable during and after seasoning, though it tends to be slow to dry and can split and check.
Wastage Moderate, but watch out for checks and splits.
Range of board widths Likely to be limited
Range of board thicknesses Likely to be limited
Durability Very good
A dye can be extracted from purpleheart for coloring textile fabrics. The lumber is fairly uniform.
Purpleheart has not been reported as a threatened species, but it is advisable to check the latest listings. Some certified lumber is available, but not widely.
AVAILABILITY AND COST
Not easy to find, and can vary greatly in cost from moderate to expensive.