open main page here



PALM, BLACK

botanical name uncertain

I have found at least the following species that have the name black palm and I have no idea which of them are represented on this page unless specifically listed.
Arenga pinnata
Astrocarynum stanleyanum
Astrocarynum standleyi
Borassus aethiopium
Borassus flabellifer (syn. Borassus flabelliformis)
Jessenia bataua
Jessenia polycarpa
Normanbya normanbyi

All reports agree that the black palm tree has a soft, mushy core (pith area) that is not useable as wood and that one consequence of this is that the wood tends to be sold only in narrow turning sticks or very small planks no more than a few inches wide.

my samples:
NOTE: these pics were all taken in very bright incandescent lighting --- colors will vary under other lighting conditions


sample piece and end grain. This was labeled as Astrocarynum (sic) spp. from Malaysia. It should be Astrocaryum.


end grain closeup of the sample piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


small thin plank and end grain --- this was sent to me for identification. At a quick glance, it looked a lot like macassar ebony but the fibrous surface made it pretty clear that it was black palm and once I had sanded down the end grain (see below) I could see that it is unquestionably black palm.


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of black palm / Borassus flabellifer --- 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 black palm / Borassus flabellifer --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Note that the first face was sanded to 240 grit and the second face was not and this accounts for minor differences in color between the two (the second side has a slight patina) and the better resolution of the detail characteristics as seen in the first one.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of palmyra palm (=black palm) / Borassus flabelliformis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Borassus flabelliformis is a synonym of Borassus flabellifer


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above

web pics:




planks and turning stock


turning stock


misc pieces all listed as Borassus flabellifer


bowl blank


pen blanks --- the color on the first set is unlikely unless the wood has been bleached


end grain


scales


pen


bowl





these are all views of a table made from built-up sections of black palm. As you can see clearly in the closeups there are shallow tongue and groove joints between the sections.