Exotic woods come in a variety of textures, colors, patterns and densities, and originate from many different countries. Current regulations prohibit clear-cutting and forest destruction in many of these countries, so harvesting exotic woods is a renewable-resource business wherein cut trees are replaced with new trees, and environmental damage is kept to a minimum. Exotic woods are used for flooring, boat decking, wooden pens, furniture and furniture veneers, dashboards and bowls, among other things.
Exotic woods from India and Myanmar
Examples of exotic woods that are grown in India and Myanmar include:
From India: Macassar Ebony--used for carvings, musical instruments, inlays and walking canes, and East Indian Rosewood--used in musical instruments because it provides good acoustics. From Myanmar: Black Palm--which is a hardwood and is used for inlays and wooden utensils like chopsticks or spoons, Black-and-White Ebony--a rare type of ebony hardwood, Red Palm, and Amboyna Burl--which gives off a fragrance and is used for veneers.
Exotic woods from Africa
The African continent has a large selection of exotic woods, including:
From South Africa: African Blackwood--a very hard wood favored for making woodwind instruments because it gives off a good tone, and Pink Ivory--a wood with a pink tinge, used for inlays and veneers. From Zimbabwe: Mopane--a dense wood that contains oil that keeps it from splintering. From Northern Africa: Olivewood--a wood that is easy to work with and is used for handles and furniture. From Cameroon: Padauk--a durable wood used for boat and flooring, and Zebrawood--which grows in hard to reach locations and has a distinct striped pattern like a zebra. From Suriname: Purpleheart--a deep-purple-colored wood used for expensive furniture, and Snake Wood--its patterns look similar to snake skin and it is used for inlay. From Tanzania: Tambootie--it has a dark brown color and is used for musical instruments and furniture, .
The North and South American continents have exotic woods such as:
From Brazil: Tulipwood--a hard, streaked wood used for cabinets and furniture, Yellowheart--has a yellowish color and is used for cabinetry and inlay, and Kingwood--a hard wood that is used for cabinetry, furniture and inlays. From Mexico: Ziricote, Redheart--comes from a shrub, not a tree, and is used for carvings, Bocote--a hardwood used for veneers and furniture, and Cocobolo--a strong wood that is almost waterproof and used for inlays and veneers. From Argentina: Osage Orange--a very hard wood used for furniture, musical instruments and handles. From the United States: Maple Burl--used for paneling and furniture, and Curly Maple--used for carvings, furniture and veneers.