When first worked it is yellow, but overnight changes
to an attractive purple, which darkens with age. It is a very attractive
defect free timber.
Common Names: Amaranth, Violetwood.
Distribution: Central America and tropical South America.
General Description: The heartwood is yellow
when freshly cut, maturing to a deep purple/violet; the original colour is
restored when re-cut. Straight grained, but often irregular, wavy and
sometimes interlocked, producing a pleasing striped figure on quartered
surfaces. Texture moderate to fine. Weight varies from 800-1,000kg/m3
(50-63lb/ft3) averaging 860kg/m3 (54lb/ft3); specific gravity .86.
Mechanical Properties: High strength in bending, stiffness and
crushing categories and medium resistance to shock loads, with moderate
steam bending classification.
Working Properties: It is rather difficult to work with moderate to
severe blunting effect on tools. It exudes gummy resin when heated by dull
cutters and the material is best run slowly through machines equipped with
high speed steel knives. The wood turns well and smoothly. Pre-bore for
nailing, glues without difficulty and stains and wax polishes easily.
Spirit finishes remove the purple colour; lacquer finishes preserve the
Durability: Very durable. Sapwood liable to attack from powder post
beetle. Extremely resistant to preservative treatment but the sapwood is
Uses: It is used for heavy outdoor constructional work, bridge
building, fresh water piling, dock work, cladding, house construction and
vats. Excellent for flooring and suitable for gymnasium equipment, shafts,
tool handles, boat building, turnery, furniture and billiard tables. Also
as decorative veneers for inlaying and marquetry work etc.