Tropical Hardwoods


  • Balau

    Balau’s heartwood is yellow-brown, varying to brown and dark reddish-brown, with an interlocked grain and a moderately fine and even texture. It has a coarse texture with medium to large pores and the grain is sometimes interlocked. The weight of balau averages 930 kg/m³ (58 lb/ft³); specific gravity .93.

  • Cumaru

    The heartwood is reddish-brown or purplish-brown, with light yellowish-brown or purplish streaks when freshly cut, turning to a variegated reddish and yellowish-brown after drying, but on exposure to light assuming a uniform yellowish-brown or light brown colour. The sapwood is about 50mm wide, distinct from the heartwood and yellowish-brown in colour. The wood has a waxy or oily feel, a fine texture, and irregular and often interlocked grain. It is an extremely hard and heavy wood.

  • Ekki

    Dark red to deep chocolate-brown with conspicuous white deposits in the pores giving a speckled appearance. Grain is usually interlocked, and the texture coarse and uneven. Weight 950-1120 kg/m³ (59-70 lb/ft³), averaging 1025 kg/m³ (64 lb/ft³); specific gravity 1.02.

  • Greenheart

    Origins & Characteristics of Greenheart WoodOne of the most popular tropical hardwoods, Greenheart wood comes from South America and ranges in colour from yellow-green, golden yellow, light olive, dark olive, yellow-brown, dark brown to black. Decayed or defective greenheart wood logs have a yellow colour. Greenheart wood grain is straight to interlocked or roey and the texture fine and even, lustrous and cold to the touch.Weight 1030 kg/m³ (64 lb/ft³); specific gravity 1.03. Buy Greenheart Wood at Whitmore’s TimberWe have various measurements of Greenheart wood for sale to meet a range of specifications and requirements, and can provide bespoke cuts. For more information, please get in touch using our contact form or call 01455 209121.

  • Idigbo

    Idigbo's heartwood is pale yellow-brown, showing a zonal figure originating in the growth rings – like plain oak – and sometimes with a light pinkish cast. The grain is straight to slightly irregular or interlocked. The texture is medium to fairly coarse and uneven. The weight is variable owing to the prevalence of light-weight brittleheart in the inner core-wood; also liable to thunder shakes. Weight from 480-620 kg/m³ (30-39 lb/ft³). Average sound material 560 kg/m³ (35 lb/ft³); specific gravity .56.

  • Iroko

    Iroko is golden-orange to brown, lighter vessel lines are conspicuous on flat saw surfaces. The material may contain large, hard deposits of calcium carbonate in cavities, and the timber around them may be darker in colour. The grain is interlocked and sometimes irregular and the texture rather coarse, but even. The weight is 640 kg/m³ (40 lb/ft³); specific gravity .64.

  • Jatoba

    Jatoba timber, also known as Brazilian cherry, has heartwood that is salmon red to orange-brown, marked with dark brown and russet brown streaks. The wood has a golden lustre. The grain is commonly interlocked with a medium to coarse texture. Weight 910kg/m³ (56lb/ft³); specific gravity .91.

  • Koto

    Koto's heartwood is creamy-white in colour with a greyish tint. The grain is interlocked with small knot clusters present in some logs. The texture is moderately coarse. Quartered surfaces reveal a striking flecked figure due to the high rays. The weight is variable from 530-750 kg/m³ (33-47 lb/ft³) with the average for 650 kg/m³ (41 lb/ft³); specific gravity .65.

  • Massaranduba

    Massaranduba timber’s heartwood is light red to rose red when freshly cut, turning dark reddish brown on exposure; sapwood whitish or pale brown,distinct, but not sharply demarcated from the heart-wood. The grain is usually straight but sometimes interlocked, and the texture is fine and uniform. The timber is hard and extremely heavy.

  • Meranti

    Meranti is a tropical hardwood usually found in South East Asia. The heartwood colour is medium to dark red brown with conspicuous white dammar or resin streaks. The sapwood of Meranti wood however is lighter in colour. The grain is interlocked and wavy giving Meranti a coarse texture. Brittle heart can also be present. Meranti timber tends to have a weight from 580-770 kg/m³ (36-48 lb/ft³) with an average of 670 kg/m³ (42 lb/ft³) and a specific gravity 0.67.

  • Opepe

    The heartwood is an orange-brown colour with a copper coloured lustre. The grain is mostly interlocked producing a striped or roll figure when quartered, sometimes with irregular grain. The texture is fairly coarse due to large pores. A reasonable proportion of straight grained material is obtained by grading. Weighs 740 kg/m³ (46 lb/ft³); specific gravity .74.

  • Padauk

    The heartwood is a vivid blood red, toning down to dark purple-brown with red streaks upon exposure. The grain is straight to interlocked with a moderately coarse texture. Weight varies from 640-800 kg/m³ (40-50 lb/ft³), average 720 kg/m³ (45 lb/ft³); specific gravity .72.

  • Purpleheart

    Purpleheart's general qualities are outlined below. From our headquarters in Leicestershire, we can supply high-quality cuts of purpleheart wood across the UK. For all enquiries and information, please contact our customer support team.

    • Colour: As the name suggests, Purpleheart’s heartwood is a deep purple-violet colour when freshly cut, maturing to a dark brown. The original colour is restored when re-cut.
    • Grain: Straight grained, but often irregular, wavy, and sometimes interlocked, producing a pleasing striped figure on quartered surfaces.
    • Texture: moderate to fine.
    • Weight: Weight varies from 800-1,000 kg/m³ (50-63 lb/ft³) averaging 860 kg/m³ (54 lb/ft³).
    • Specific gravity: 86.

  • Sapele

    The heartwood has a medium to dark reddish-brown colour, characterised by a well-defined ribbon striped figure on quartered surfaces. Sometimes, when wavy grain is present, a very attractive fiddleback figure, roe figure or occasionally, beautiful mottled figure is obtained. The grain is interlocked or wavy and the texture fairly fine. Has a cedar-like scent when freshly cut. The timber is liable to ring or cup shakes. Weight varies between 560-690 kg/m³ (35-43 lb/ft³) averages about 620 kg/m³ (39 lb/ft³); specific gravity .62.

  • Utile

    The heartwood matures from a pink-brown when fresh cut to deep red-brown. The grain is interlocked to rather irregular, producing a wide irregular striped figure on quartered surfaces. Weight varies from 550-750 kg/m³ (34-47 lb/ft³), but averages 660 kg/m³ (41 lb/ft³); specific gravity .66. Texture, uniformly moderate.

  • Wenge

    Wenge is a tropical hardwood, typically sourced from tropical climates such as Zaire and Cameroon Republic. The clearly defined heartwood is dark brown, with very close, fine, almost black veins. The wood is laced with closely spaced whitish bands of parenchyma, giving wenge an attractive appearance. It is fairly straight grained and has a coarse texture. With a weight of 880 kg/m³ (55 lb/ft³) and a specific gravity of 0.88, wenge is a relatively hard and heavy wood.