diffuse porous page


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. On all other
pages on this anatomy sub-site the orientation is 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 but with these grasses I have no idea which way is which

general characteristics of grasses (NOTE: the palms are EXTREMELY variable, not just within a species but even within a particular piece. This is illustrated in several of the examples on this page)

Some "woods" are not wood at all, but rather are types of grass. These include all of the palms and all of the bamboos. Most of these woods, particularly the palms, are so soft that trying to fine-sand the end grain is hopeless, but I've done the best I could and for most of them it came out reasonable. The bamboos are harder and not a problem.

Since these are not woods, it really isn't appropriate to call them "diffuse porous" but the vessels that they have that are equivalent to wood pores are equivalent in distribution to diffuse porous. There are no rays or parenchyma or growth rings, just bundles of fibers.

There are a large number of bamboo and palm species, from a number of different genera, and I have only a few but I present them here just for your general information. Face grain shots can be seen on the main site. Red palm and black palm are pretty readily available to craftspeople in the USA in sizes suitable for small turnings and although bamboo is readily available, it is generally only used for floors and has to be laminated.


These two ares of the same piece of bamboo illustrate the characteristic of bamboo that towards the empty center of a stalk, the "pores" are relatively sparse and they become more numerous as you move towards the outer edge.









Fairchild's palm --- both the face grain and the end grain on these two pieces were so radically different from each other that I asked three different people, including the vendor of the samples they were taken from and two other knowledgeable people and they all assured me that the variability of the palms from near the heart to near the outside is often so extreme that it's not unusual to see this degree of dissimilarity between pieces taken from the same "log".