Artists and designers alike appreciate the elegant lines of this lighter alternative to African mahogany. It’s lighter in color, firmer in texture, and straighter in grain than its African counterpart. Among the finest woods in the world, this is a versatile and adaptable choice for architectural interiors.
This wood is indigenous to the Yucatan Peninsula and is prized for its dramatic, saturated coloring—reddish brown with black, violets, and oranges typically mixed in. The grain is typically straight with some irregularity. It’s a premier choice for high-end furniture and interiors and is highly regarded as a tonewood for marimbas and xylophones, earning its nickname “the wood that sings.”
A cousin of the hickory, the pecan tree was so central to native Americans in the lower Mississippi river valley that it was associated with the Great Spirit. Today the tree is cultivated in southern orchards for nuts and is prized as a fine cabinet wood. It has a typically straight grain, a medium texture, low natural sheen, a medium reddish-brown heartwood and paler yellow sapwood, and may be figured. Pecan stains well and is sometimes stained to match or replicate other woods.
Ziricote is a captivating choice—sometimes referred to as the abstract art of veneer. Designers seek it out for its unrepeatable grain patterns—spider webbing, marbling, cloudbursts, hill and valley patterns, and more. The reddish-brown heartwood is nicely contrasted by creamy sapwood. Quarter cut veneer may produce ray flakes similar to hard maple. Some designers incorporate the pale sapwood into furniture or interior designs for aesthetic effect, or to cut down on waste.