Color In Nature: Wood

Color In Nature: Wood


Sorting through the incredible number of wood varieties is a task of enormous proportions, and one we didn't even think of taking on. Lucky for us there are people who are doing just that.

Exotic Wood Pictures: Exotic Wood Displayed, described, and Identified is "a non-commercial site focusing on color-correct pictures of exotic and domestic woods." The site, which I found while performing the always necessary first step in any research, a Google search, is wonderful for exploring the amazing colors of the different varieties of wood. The highlighted statistics for the site read:

# different types of wood represented: 685
# unique pictures of those woods: 17,722

For any hard core wood fan out there this a great site to sort through hundreds of options for any upcoming wood related projects you might have on the table, or in the COLOURlovers case, this site can offer inspiration from the unique colors that make up each type.

Below we have assembled a few inspirational palettes with their corresponding types from some of the 685 wood varieties represented on the site. Plus, a few images of the incredible colors of petrified wood.

Wood Color Inspiration

  • Angico
  • Guearu
  • Bosse
  • Cinnamon
  • Caretto

  • Oak, Bog
  • Bishop Wood
  • Briar
  • Podo
  • Zircote

  • Cocuswood
  • Blackbean
  • Beech
  • Makai
  • Buckthorn

  • Cancharana
  • Chakte kok
  • Irodo
  • Zapote
  • Lychee

  • Zitan
  • Huanghuali
  • Faieira
  • Palm, Red
  • Snakewood

  • Camphor
  • Lacewood
  • Ash, Oil
  • Caragana
  • Maple, Spalted

  • Angico
  • Chemchem
  • Cebil
  • Koa
  • Eisbirke

  • Melia
  • Redheart
  • Poui
  • Zorra
  • Bois de Rose

Petrified wood

Petrified wood is a type of fossil: it consists of fossil wood where all the organic materials have been replaced with minerals (most often a silicate, such as quartz), while retaining the original structure of the wood. The petrifaction process occurs underground, when wood becomes buried under sediment and is initially preserved due to a lack of oxygen. Mineral-rich water flowing through the sediment deposits minerals in the plant's cells and as the plant's lignin and cellulose decay away, a stone mould forms in its place.


Photo by absentmindedprof
Petrified Wood 1

Elements such as manganese, iron and copper in the water/mud during the petrification process give petrified wood a variety of color ranges. Pure quartz crystals are colorless, but when contaminants are added to the process the crystals take on a yellow, red or other tint.


Photo by kubina
petrified wood 2

Following is a list of contaminating elements and related color hues:

* carbon - black
* cobalt - green/blue
* chromium - green/blue
* copper - green/blue
* iron oxides - red, brown, and yellow
* manganese - pink/orange
* manganese oxides - black


Photo by gembone
petrified wood 3

Petrified wood can preserve the original structure of the wood in all its detail, down to the microscopic level. Structures such as tree rings and the various tissues are often observed features.


Photo by jamesdale10
petrified wood 4


Photo by charlestilford
petrified wood 5

You can help support Exotic Wood Pictures: Exotic Wood Displayed, described and Identified by going to the site and donating through PayPal.


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12 Comments
Showing 1 - 12 of 12 Comments
Wow! The colors are amazing! (restraining self from making joke about "wood")

Thanks for showing us this!
Wooden It Be Loverly
In the Phillipines we had a baseball field at Subic Naval Base. What were the bleachers made of?
MAHOGANY. It was local and cheaper. On the other hand, the rain forest is disappearing rapidly over there due to slash and burn agriculture.
It doesn't matter now. The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo trashed everything there with about 5 feet of volcanic ash.
Mysterious Sex

Now this is sexy wood XD
My husband got into woodworking several years ago. I loved to go shopping with him for exotic woods. While turning pens on his lathe, he discovered the color of purple heart wood will darken when heated. He then started 'baking' his finished pieces in the oven to deepen the color. I'll have to find some pictures to post.
My brother in law also got into woodworking. He turned out (metaphor) to be allergic to the oils from one of them. (rosewood?)
I love wood, and I love natural stained wood, it's so pretty. We have a bunch of really nice oak trim in our house, and I know some guys who put up trim for a living. ^_^
Exotic woods are usually so beautiful and interesting.
Once in a while I'll be in the wood shop at school that's only for wood majors and someone will have an amazing piece of some exotic wood and its just so interesting to see all the color and designs that occur naturally in wood.
These are beautiful color inspirations! Before discovering CL, I used to think "natural colors" were browns and greens, but now I am discovering they can be almost anywhere on the color spectrum.

Coincidentally, my latest palette was inspired by petrified wood colors before I saw this article:
Rainbow Rock
wonderful read. Thanks for writing this !
wow! an amazing post !! thanks !!

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