Peltogyne purpurea is a deciduous tree with an elongated crown; it can grow up to 35 - 40 metres tall. The bole branches from low down, it is moderately buttressed and can be up to 100cm in diameter[
This tree is a major source of 'purpleheart' wood. One of the most valuable timbers of southern Costa Rica, it is extensively harvested from the wild and traded internationally[
Northern S. America - Colombia; C. America - Panama, Costa Rica.
Found in very humid climates, it grows best in the hills or in areas with good soil drainage at elevations
from 50 - 500 metres[
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A plant of the moist, lowland tropics, usually found in areas with a distinct dry season[
The heartwood is purple, streaked with darker or lighter shades of the same, drying to a brilliant purple when exposed to the light; the thick layer of sapwood is nearly white, drying to a gray-yellow-brown[
]. The wood is very hard, heavy, strong, tough, fine-grained and often cross-grained. It takes a very beautiful polish. It is difficult to split and work[
]. It has been used for agricultural tools, boats, general carpentry, interior and exterior construction, railway foundations, furniture, cabinetwork, panelling, inlays, flooring, dock fenders, veneer, and ornamental plates[
The fruits remain on the trees long after their maturation and the seeds, when freed by the opening of the valves, continue to adhere to the valves through the funicle, reaching the ground only, as it seems, when the condition are favourable to ensure germination[
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