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BLACKHEART SASSAFRAS

Atherosperma spp.

Atherosperma spp. of the family Monimiaceae. Usually Atherosperma moschatum but also includes Atherosperma crepitans and Atherosperma lucida, all of which are totally unrelated to the woods that are refered to in the USA as sassafras (which are genus Sassafras of the family Lauraceae).

Other common names are Tasmanian sassafras, Tasmanian black sassafras, Tasmanian blackheart sassafras, black sassafras, Southern sassafras, Victorian sassafras, faux sassafras, and others.

There are a number of other species in Australia that are not related to each other but which have the word "sassafras" in at least one of their common names, so there is room for confusion. I'll attempt to break this out better in the future. This wood is obviously not related to what in the USA is called sassafras (Sassafras spp. of the family Rosaceae)

my samples:




both sides of a sample plank of blackheart sassafras / Atherosperma moschatum --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of blackheart sassafras / Atherosperma moschatum --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


blackheart sassafras veneer --- HUGE enlargements are present. These sheets were contributed to the site by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. I see that the color on these is MUCH more lively than on the lumber sample directly above and that IS the way they really look.

web pics:


blackheart sassafras from a reputable vendor in Australia


bookmatched plank pairs


plank with some spalting


planks


bookmatched pair of planks listed as blackheart sassafras / Atherosperma moschatum


planks listed as blackheart sassafras / Atherosperma moschatum


planks listed as Tasmanian blackheart sassafras


blackheart sassasfras slab


listed as blackheart Tasmanian sassafras veneer and looks to me exactly like American red gum. I don't mean to imply that it is NOT Tasmanian sassafras, I'm just commenting on the look.


Tasmanian blackheart sassafrass veneer


planks listed as Tasmanian sassafras


guitar set listed as blackheart sassafras / Atherosperma moschatum


These are from the BogusColorVendor



first set (colors overly rich)


listed as Tasmanian blackheart sassafras --- both sides and closeups of the same plank. These are from the BogusColorVendor and interestingly, they had the pics posted with an unrealistically rich color and then at some point went in and modified the pics so that the color was more realistic. Maybe they are taking to heart the criticism (I'm sure it doesn't come from just me, since it is so blatant) that there pics are very misleading. I present both sets of pics here so you can see what I'm talking about. Based on other pics I've seen, it appears to me that the colors in the second set are probably correct.


more Tasmanian blackheart planks from the BogusColorVendor.


blackheart sassafras from the BogusColorVendor --- the green color on the first one is just ridiculous but is not all that unusual for them.


plank listed as Tasmanian sassafras. I'm don't remember whether this one is from the BogusColorVendor or not but the richness of the color suggests that it problably is.

end of Bogus Color Vendor pics




knife handle scales


pen blanks listed as "black sassafras" that have been waxed and oiled --- both sets are from a vendor whose pics manage to make most woods look purple, regardless of what color they actually are.


bowl blanks, one waxed the other raw; pics provided by Steve Earis


guitar back listed as blackheart sassafras / Atherosperman moschatum


5" diameter bowl turned by Steve Earis


grinder