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PALM, MISC

botanical names, various

The palms, like bamboo, are not actually wood but rather are a form a grass, and thus have a significantly different cell structure than wood.

I have broken out on this site all palms that I can identify as either red palm or black palm. All other palms are on this miscellaneous page.

NOTE: The variability of the palms, even within a specific species, is enormous as you'll see with a couple of the examples below where I have more than one of the same species, so keep in mind that this is a particularly hard "wood" to identify with just a small sample. Here is a specific example of that variability. The top row shows the face and end grains of a sample of Fairchild's palm / Scheelea fairchildensis and the bottom row shows the same thing for another sample of the same species. Certainly just looking at the two I would not have guessed that they are the same species but several knowledgeable people, including the sample vendor who cut these two samples from palm trees (possibly the same tree) in Florida in 1992, tell me that the variability of palm, most particularly the huge variation in density between the near-pith "wood" and the outer layers, makes it completely believable that these are both the same species.

PALM VARIABILITY EXAMPLE




my samples:


both sides of a sample plank of royal palm / Roystonea regia --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Note how the end grain (update) below shows clearly that this species is dense out near the skin but porous in towards the center.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of royal palm / Roystonea regia --- 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 how the end grain update below shows clearly that this speices is dense out near the skin but porous in towards the center.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above. This piece was only sanded to 400 grit, unlike my normal 1200.


both sides of a sample plank of royal palm / Roystonea regia --- 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 African wild date palm / Phoenix reclinata --- 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 India wild date palm / Phoenix sylvestris --- 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 India wild date / Phoenix sylvestris --- 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 Mexican fan palm / Washingtonia robusta --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. This stuff is light as a feather; I'm guessing that it is lighter than balsa wood (but it doen't take the title for lightest wood away from balsa, because palm is NOT a wood ... it's a grass)


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Mexican fan palm / Washingtonia robusta --- 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 Mexican fan palm / Washingtonia robusta --- 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


both sides of a sample plank of Mexican fan palm / Washingtonia robusta --- 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


both sides of a sample plank of Mexican fan palm / Washingtonia robusta --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet 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. This piece was only sanded to 400 grit, unlike my normal 1200.


both sides of a sample plank of California fan palm / Washingtonia filifera --- 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 Canary Island palm / Phoenix canariensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. This one was so soft that I didn't even try to get an end grain update although I did get one from the similar sample dirctly below.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


side grain closeup of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of palm, canary Island palm / Phoenix canariensis --- HUGE enlargements are present.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Canary Island palm / Phoenix canariensis --- 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 solitaire palm / Ptychosperma elegans --- 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 of the piece directly above


end grain closeups of both ends of the piece directly above


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of livistona palm / Livistona robinsoniana --- 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 cabbage palmetto / Sabal palmetto --- 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


two small halves of a piece of silver palm / Coccothrinax readii. HUGE enlargements are present. These were loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.

   
end grain closeup of both halves and then the END GRAIN UPDATE of both halves directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Fairchild's palm / Scheelea fairchildensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. See the "palm variability" image at the top of this page.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Fairchild's palm / Scheelea fairchildensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. See the "palm variability" image at the top of this page.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above



The Wood Book pics


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
California fan palm (Washingtonia filamentosa, also listed as desert palm) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for each of the 3 views. I note that Washingtonia filamentosa is now considered a synonym of the accepted name Washingtonia filifera.



web pics:

none so far