Commodities Latin América
Purpleheart, amaranth, violetwood-NAZARENO
Purpleheart (click here for color image)
Trade or Common Name: Purpleheart, amaranth, violetwood
Local Name: Nazareno
Botanical Name: Peltogyne spp.
The Tree: Purpleheart is a very tall, handsome canopy tree, averaging 120 to 150 feet in height in the natural rainforest, with diameters of 2 to 4 feet, and a clear, straight, cylindrical bole of 60 to 90 feet, above a moderately buttressed base. Nazareno is leguminous or nitrogen-fixing.
Status: Purpleheart has been exploited extensively for years because of its high strength and durability as well as its unusual color and beauty. It is increasingly rare, and is nearing extinction in parts of its original range. Purpleheart is listed as threatened in "Arboles Maderables en Peligro de Extinción en Costa Rica."
The Wood: One of the most distinctive woods in the world, purpleheart is prized for its very unusual deep purple color. When freshly cut, this dense hardwood is light brown. Within minutes the surface turns an astonishing bright purple. Upon prolonged exposure to sunlight, the color gradually changes to a chocolate-purple color. This beautiful wood is straight to wavy grained, fine and uniform textured and fairly smooth with a medium to high luster. Purpleheart turns smoothly, is easy to glue, takes finishes well and is highly durable.
Uses: Purpleheart reaches the world market only in small quantities. It is prized for fine inlay work, turnery, fine furniture and cabinetry, parquet flooring, decorative and figured veneer, and many specialty items such as handles, billiard cue butts and carving.
Availability: We have limited quantities of purpleheart trees available in pure plantings and as part of our Premium Mixture.
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