diffuse porous page

(except for ebonies, rosewoods, and mahoganies, which all have their own pages)

NOTE: unless otherwise specifically stated, all of the images shown on this
page are of 1/4" square end grain cross sections shown at 12X with the top
of the image towards the bark and the bottom towards the pith so that
earlywood is towards the bottom of the growth rings and latewood is towards the top

to see all species with links to their anatomy page go here: species links

There are so many species on this page that I have divided them into the following arbitrary groups to facilitate your finding what you are looking for:

Group 1a: weak rays
pores small to uncountable, rays barely visible (or not visible) even at 10X












Chilean beech --- no parenchyma visible with a 10X loupe other than the apparent marginal parenchyma, rays present but barely visible even with a 10X loupe, pores in radial multiples up to 4 long, growth ring boundaries weak but visible due to a darkening of the tissue in the latewood and the almost solid line of pores at the beginning of the earlywood (giving the appearance of marginal parenchyma). SOME OF THESE ARE MORE SEMI-DIFFUSE POROUS THAN DIFFUSE POROUS but I have left them on this page to keep all of the Nothofagus species together.









guaje --- these 4 samples are all from a set of flooring planks that might well have all been milled from the same tree, although some were ribbon stripe and some were curly so maybe not.

paela --- no pores visible even at 10X, growth ring boundaries are very vague















cabreuva --- note that this is the same species as the santos mahogany but I need to get this straightened out on the main site (not all cabreuva is Myroxylon balsamum)


Group 1b: stronger rays
pores small, rays visible at 10X but not to the naked eye
growth boundaries generally vague







curupay --- rays usually visible at 10X, pore density on the high side of medium, obvious vasicentric parenchyma, growth ring boundaries often vague








jucaro / oxhorn / black olive --- I note that the characteristics, the pore density in particular, vary rather significantly among these samples even though they are all purportedly Bucida buceras. I have no explanation for this, BUT I notice very significantly that the variation can exist WITHIN THE SAME SAMPLE so I do not believe it is an indication of incorrect ID of any of these. One of the pairs of pics below shows this quite clearly.




two areas of a single sample, showing the wide variety of pore density that can occur




laurel blanco


laurel blanco / Cordia alliodora --- strong thin rays, vague growth ring boundaries






olive --- clearly, different species in the genus Olea (that are sold as "olive") have significantly different characteristics, as witnessed by the differences between these sample of Olea europaea and Olea welwitschii




Group 1c: sparser pores
moderately sparse pores, most with vasicentric parenchyma, rays clearly visible at 10X

NOTE: Pericopsis elata ALSO has end grain characteristics that are quite different than this and that type is shown in group 1f


bocote --- strong rays



kou / Cordia subcordata --- NOT bocote but a closely related species; the rays are not as prominent and it is closer to semi diffuse porous than is bocote


these two are from two different laminated samples (thus the small area from which to get a pic) but probably made from the same plank
























zircote --- extremely sharp boundary between heartwood and sapwood, numerous rays very clear with a 10X loupe but not to the naked eye



Group 1d: very sparse pores
very sparse pores, some species have vasicentric parenchyma,
rays barely visible at 10X



gaboon --- occasional pore multiples, rays faint but visible at 10X

rengas --- some banded parenchyma, obvious vasicentric parenchyma










Group 1e: pore multiples
pore multiples, some w/ rays visible at 10X, growth ring boundaries vague







virola --- some obvious pore multiples


Group 1f: vasicentric parenchyma around large, sparse pores
relatively large pores easily visible with a hand 10X lens, often in doubles or even more
vasicentric parenchyma with some groups lozenge-shaped aliform and
some with short confluent groups, growth rings are not obvious
except for canary, the rays are easily visible with a 10X loupe but not with the naked eye


canary --- rays are faint at 10X










these two are Dipterocarpus spp. but may or may not be species that use the common name apitong/kuruing


tatajuba --- frequent pore multiples


lebbeck --- pore multiples may be radial but also are often tangential














NOTE: this exact same species ALSO has end grain characteristics that are quite different than this and that type is shown in group 1c









Group 1g: pore multiples, vasicentric parenchyma,
and some of these have faint banded parenchyma like those in group 2b

pore multiples, vasicentric parenchyma
some in this group have rays visible at 10X
some in this group have faint banded parenchyma














nyatoh --- pores multiples in radial strands always evident, banded parenchyma always present but may be hard to see even at 10X

Group 1h: tangential pore bands and strong rays
pores are small and mostly in tangential bands and with vasicentric parenchyma
very plentiful strong rays, clearly visible with a 10X loupe but not necessarily the naked eye
growth ring boundaries are present but weak




Group 1i: tiny to uncountable pores
pores are tiny to uncountable, rays generally not visible even at 10X
growth ring boundaries visible but sometimes quite weak










mountain ash --- uncountable pores, obvious growth ring boundaries, rays present but invisible even at 10X




Group 2a: obvious banded parenchyma
sparse pores with banded parenchyma (occasionally with breaks)
growth ring boundaries obscure
may have faint rays visible with 10X loupe but not with the naked eye



queenwood --- some of the banded parenchyma is broken so is more properly called diffuse-in-aggregate parenchyma



Group 2b: faint banded parenchyma
banded parenchyma that will be visible with a 10X loupe
but only if you do a very good job of cleaning up the end grain
most of these have pores in radial groups and many have pore multiples




bulletwood --- note that sapodilla, shown in the next set below, is very closely related to bulletwood and the two can be hard to tell apart





sapodilla --- note that sapadilla and bulletwood (shown in the set directly above) are very closely related and can be hard to tell apart





anigre --- pores in radial strands with frequent multiples, banded parenchyma often visible at 10X, rays not visible or barely visible at 10X




although the pore density on this sample is obviously lower than on the other Pouteria spp samples shown here, I believe that it is correctly identified




Australian brown beech --- banded parenchyma is very faint even at 10X, radial pore groups are obvious


Group 2c: broken parenchyma bands
sparse pores with vasicentric parenchyma and broken bands of parenchyma
growth rings are vague/obscure, rays obvious at 10X



    NOTE: as you can see, the characteristics of this piece are significantly different from the other Lonchocarpus samples shown above, but ...





Group 3a: strong rays and scaliform or reticulate parenchyma
very strong, thick rays (width extremely variable), visible to the naked eye
and with obvious scalariform or reticulate parenchyma, no visible ring boundaries
(silky oak and sheoak have vague ones)

macadamia with clearly scaliform parenchyma



It's a bit confusing and I suggest ignoring the botanical names shown here for now




see note above about lacewood/leopardwood names

leopardwood with clearly scalariform parenchyma

Brazilian peppertree with clearly scalariform parenchyma


silky oak --- this is a common name than includes many disparate species in the family Proteaceae and unlike leopardwood and both types of lacewood, most of these species have visible growth ring boundaries although they are often vague and hard to distinguish. The reticulate parenchyma on silky oak is almost always clearly scalariform.







sheoak --- some of these have reticulate parenchyma but none have scaliform parenchyma





Group 3b: strong rays
very strong, thick rays, visible to the naked eye
growth ring boundaries are vague



Group 4a: aliform parenchyma, strong lozenge shaped
sparse pores with large, obvious groups of lozenge-shaped aliform parenchyma,
with some occasional wing-shaped ones, occasional confluence but no heavy confluence
rays that have varying degrees of visibility with a 10X loupe but not visible to the naked eye
ring boundaries not always obvious but some of these (as noted below)
have marginal parenchyma that is visible with a 10X loupe




















note: yellow sucupira is only somewhat similar to what is normally called sucupira in the USA (see sucupira in group 1f) which has much larger pores, more widely spaced, and little if any confulent parenchyma

purpleheart --- marginal parenchyma and lozenge-shaped aliform parenchyma, sometimes with confluent parenchyma and sometimes with heavy confluent parenchyma. There are at least 15 Peltogyne spp. species that use the name purpleheart and just based on my small sampling I'd say there appears to be considerable variation of characteristics among them.




merbau --- seemingly marginal parenchyma


zebrawood --- pore density varies considerably from sparse to very sparse, pores always have obvious vasicentric parenchyma in the form of winged aliform parenchyma or lozenge shaped aliform parenchyma or a mix of the two. This species has an equitorial growth range so not surprisingly the growth ring boundaries are vague.





Group 4b: aliform parenchyma, lozenge shaped and confluent
sparse or moderately sparse pores with lozenge-shaped aliform parenchyma
growth ring boundaries are marked by marginal parenchyma which are usually only visible with a 10X loupe (but in jatoba may be visible to the naked eye)
plentiful rays easily visible with a 10X loupe but not to the naked eye

All the ones with aliform parenchyma are probably Andira surinamensis, Not Carapa guianensis










hormigo --- NOTE: the Inside Wood reference site shows the rays as being quite visible, unlike what you see here on my samples where you have to magnify the image to see them. I don't mean that this suggests that my ID is incorrect, just that for some reason the rays don't show up well on the couple of samples that I have.



jatoba --- parenchyma is lozenge shaped aliform but often is so subdued that it appears to be merely vasicentric parenchyma and there is banded parenchyma that ranges from seemingly marginal (such as in the first three samples) to much more frequent (as in the next three samples)






Group 4c: aliform parenchyma, wing- and lozenge-shaped
moderately sparse pores with lozenge- and wing-shaped aliform parenchyma
growth ring boundaries are vague/obscure
plentiful rays visible with a 10X loupe but not to the naked eye












Argentine osage orange --- NOTE: The end grain of the 2nd piece is significantly different than the other two but I have found samples on the Internet (at reputable sites) showing this species both with and without the extensive banded parenchyma, so this is just one of those examples of how, unfortunately for those of us trying to identify wood, a single species can have significantly different characteristics from tree to tree.

Group 4d: aliform parenchyma, sparse wing shaped
fairly sparse pores with faint winged aliform parenchyma
some of these have rays that should be visible with a 10X loupe
none have rays that would be visible to the naked eye
ring boundaries visible to the naked eye but not always obvious





















Group 4e: wing shaped aliform parenchyma,
some with thin confluent parenchyma bands

pores sparse with wing shaped aliform parenchyma, often connecting several pores
growth rings usually very hard to distinguish
rays are present but not visible or barely visible and only with a 10X loupe








padauk --- winged aliform parenchyma with varying length wings, rays are extremely faint





Group 4f: reticulate parenchyma (not scaliform)
very sparse pores and heavy reticulate parenchyma
growth ring boundaries are fairly clear due to marginal parenchyma
and slight color darkening at the boundary
rays very obvious at 10X and visible with the naked eye



Group 5: confluent parenchyma
spare pores with obvious bands of confluent parenchyma
may have rays visible with a 10X loupe but none visible with the naked eye
growth ring boundaries not clear















Group 6: dendritic pore groups, vague ring boundaries
pores small, numerous, and in radial multiples, generally in dendritic groups,
growth rings very faint, just barely visible to the naked eye,
rays present but generally not visible even with a 10X loupe





Group 7: dendritic pore groups, strong ring boundaries
pores in dendritic groups,
growth rings very faint, just barely visible to the naked eye,
rays present but generally not visible even with a 10X loupe




Group 8: all the rest
I did not feel that I could shoehorn these into any of the other categories on this page




ipe --- the ipe genus used to be Tabebuia but most (not all) are now Handroanthus with the Tabebuia name relegated to the status of synonym. See the fact sheet linked to on the main site's ipe page for details of the all synonyms

ipe: As seen here, the width of the section shown is 1 cm (.4 inches) shown here at about 11X. A HUGE enlargement of each is present and they are squares of .4cm / .4cm (.16" x .16") and they are shown at about 67X (when you click on these images). Corresponding higher resolution sections from the same area of the samples are shown directly below.

ipe:As seen here, the width of the section shown is .22 cm (.09 inches) shown here about 11X. A HUGE enlargement of each is present and they are squares of .22cm / .22cm (.09" x .09") and they are shown at about 120X (when you click on these images). These were taken from the same area of the same sample as the corresponding lower-resolution images directly above.
















catalpa --- note that domestic catalpa species (Catalpa bignonioides and Catalpa speciosa) are ring porous and are found on that page. These non-USA catalpas are diffuse porous so are on this page. I note that their pore size varies considerably. Compare, particularly, the first two samples in the second row.