Common Names
Purpleheart, amaranth, roxinho, violeta
Scientific Name
Peltogyne spp.
Central and South America (from Mexico down to southern Brazil)
When freshly cut the heartwood of purpleheart can be a dull grayish/purplish brown. Upon exposure—usually within a few days—the wood becomes a deeper eggplant purple. With further age and exposure to UV light, the wood becomes a dark brown with a hint of purple. This color-shift can be slowed and minimized by using a UV inhibiting finish on the wood. For more information, see the article Preventing Color Changes in Exotic Woods. The grain is usually straight, but can also be wavy or irregular. Has a medium texture with good natural luster.
Avg. Dried Weight
56 lbs/ft3 (905 kg/m3)
Janka Hardness
2520 lbf
Modulus of Rupture
22,000 lbf/in2 (151.7 MPa)
Elastic Modulus
2,937,000 lbf/in2 (20.26 GPa)
Crushing Strength
12,140 lbf/in2 (83.7 MPa)
Radial: 3.8%, Tangential: 6.4%
Purpleheart is rated as being very durable, and resists both decay and most insect attacks, though it has been reported to be susceptible to attack from marine borers.
Working with purpleheart can present some unique challenges: if the wood is heated with dull tools, or if cutter speeds are too high, purpleheart will exude a gummy resin that can clog tools and complicate the machining process. Depending on the grain orientation, can be difficult to plane without tearout. Purpleheart also has a moderate dulling effect on cutters.

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