Botanical Name

Peltogyne spp.

Other Common Names

Amaranth, Amarante, Palo morado, Tananeo, Koroboreli, Purperhart, Pau roxo, Guarabu, Violetwood


Mexico to Tropical South America

The Tree

A tall tree 120 feet or more, producing a long, straight trunk about 36 inches in diameter.


Heartwood brown when freshly cut becoming deep purple upon exposure, eventually turning to a dark brown sharply demarcated from the off-white sapwood.


Texture medium to fine; luster medium to high, variable; grain usually straight, sometimes wavy, roey, or irregular; without distinctive odor or taste.

Working Properties

Moderately difficult to work with either hand or machine tools, dulls cutters, exudes a gummy resin when heated by dull tools; slow feed rates and specially hardened cutters are suggested.  Turns smoothly, easy to glue, and takes finishes well.


Turnery, marquetry, cabinets, fine furniture, parquet flooring, tool handles, billiard cue butts, carving.


Supplies are reported to be ample, but the wood is fairly expensive. Purpleheart is available in the US in both the lumber and veneer forms.