The heartwood is a pale yellow-brown or “biscuit” color that may range from light tan to deep brown in color. It is usually straight-grained, but cross-grained material can occur in slow growing trees. English Oak displays conspicuous growth rings and has a coarse texture. The sapwood is easily distinguished from the heartwood, though similar in color (lighter). The wood typically has alternating bands of early wood that are large-pored and late wood, which is finer and denser in texture. Like many other oaks, broad rays, distinctive growth rings and a silvery grain produce an attractive figure when quarter-sawn. English “Brown” Oak took on its color from the beefsteak fungus. The color cannot be reproduced with stains, and is considered highly desirable.

Formal Name: Quercus petraea

Other Names:

English Oak, European Oak, French Oak, Yugoslavian Oak, Brown Oak, Brown Oak, Pollard Oak

The heartwood is a dull brown when freshly cut, becoming deep purple on exposure. After extended exposure, the wood deepens in color to a rich brownish-red. The off-white sapwood is sharply demarcated from the heartwood. The texture ranges from medium to fine with a medium to high surface luster. The grain may be straight, but is sometimes interlocked and wavy or irregular.

Formal Name: Peltogyne spp.

Other Names:

Violetwood, Ameranth

The heartwood of European Beech is pale in color, ranging in shades from pinkish-brown to an orangey-tan color. Generally a blond wood, when cut, tones can be found from a pale, pale blond to tan, to medium tan-brown. When steamed, the color becomes a little more reddish-pink in tone. Colors tend to mute and amber over time. European Beech has a straight grain with a fine, even texture.

Formal Name: Fagus sylvatica

Other Names:

English Beech, French Beech, Danish Beech

Red grandis is a versatile, fast-growing hardwood. This plantation-grown wood is relatively uniform in color with slight variations from pale to medium pink. The attractive, moderately coarse grain pattern is predominantly straight but in some cases may be slightly interlocked. It is similar in hardness, density and grain texture to mahogany and cherry. The heartwood is durable and resistant to insects, with durability and dimensional stability similar to sapele, cherry or hard maple.

Formal Name: Eucalyptus Grandis

Other Names:

Red grandis is plantation-grown in areas of South America, South Africa and Australia.

Goncalo Alves ranges in color from light golden-brown to reddish-brown with blackish-brown streaks, which gives it the familiar name of tigerwood. It I is richly mottled and similar in appearance rosewood. A hard, heavy wood, it has a medium to fine texture and tight, irregular, interlocked grain with alternating layers of hard and soft wood. Goncalo Alves is very durable and will take a glass-like finish.

Formal Name: Astronium graveolens

Other Names:


Santos Mahogany ranges from light orange-brown tones to a dark reddish-brown in color. The white sapwood is sharply demarcated from the heartwood. It has a fine, even texture and tight grain that is quite often interlocked. It is an extremely dense hardwood that is a popular wood for both its durability and beauty, with a surface that can have a medium to high luster.

Formal Name: Myroxylon balsamum

Other Names:

Balsamo, Cabriuva Vermelha, Cedro Chino, Chirraca, Estoraque, Incienso, Nabal, Navo, Palo de Balsamo, Quina, Sandalo, Tache, Tolu

Granadillo varies somewhat in color, and can be found in red, black and brown variations. The black is much like Morado — a dark brown, usually distinctly striped wood with a straight grain. The red is much like Honduras Rosewood, with a reddish-brown cast and a figured grain, with a fine to medium texture. The sapwood is very pale — almost white. The heartwood is a mix of brilliant colors ranging from deep orange-red with black striping or mottling and streaks that ages to beautiful markings of red, black, purple, yellow and orange when exposed to air. It is very hard, heavy and dense with tight, straight interlocked grain and low luster. This oily wood is slightly pungent and fragrant when worked.

Formal Name: Platymiscium spp.

Other Names:

Macacauba, Coyote, Guayacan, Cocobolo, Nicaraguan Rosewood

Sapele heartwood is medium to dark-reddish brown with a medium texture, high-luster, pale yellow sapwood. Sapele is very similar to African mahogany, with a fine, interlocked grain. It may also yield a wavy grain that produces a distinctive roe figure on quartered surfaces.

Formal Name: Entandrophragma Cylindricum

Honduras Rosewood has a yellow sapwood with an appearance distinctly different from the heartwood. The pinkish-brown to purple-brown tones of the heartwood appear in alternating dark and light streaks with black markings, creating a very attractive figure. The wood ranges from fine to medium in texture and usually presents a straight grain, although it is occasionally wavy, presenting a decorative figure.

Shedua sapwood is very pale with clear demarcations. A variety of colors can be found in the heartwood that includes pink, vivid red, or red-brown with purple veining. On exposure, the veining becomes less conspicuous, and the deep colors fade to yellow or medium brown with a reddish tint. Shedua has a fine, even texture with a straight or interlocked grain. Shedua from the Gabon area often has a wavy grain, and is sometimes highly figured, producing a decorative appearance when flat- and quarter-sawn.

Formal Name: Guibourtia ehie

Other Names:

Olive Walnut and African Walnut