Snakewood (piratinera guianensis)

Snakewood timber, derived from the Piratinera Guianensis tree, boasts distinct characteristics that make it a prized choice for woodworking projects. It features a rich reddish-brown colour with dark, intricate streaks resembling a snake’s skin. Its grain is fine and uniform, contributing to its smooth texture and enhancing its visual appeal.


  1. Color/Appearance: Reddish brown colour with striking dark streaks.
  2. Grain/Texture: The grain is fine and uniform, lending a smooth texture to the wood’s surface. Intricate grain patterns add depth and dimension to finished pieces, enhancing their visual appeal.
  3. Odor: Typically has minimal to no odour, allowing its natural beauty to shine without distracting scents. Making it suitable for indoor furniture and decorative items.
  4. Sustainability: Considered a rare and exotic wood due to its slow growth rate and limited availability. Sustainable harvesting practices are essential to ensure its long-term viability as a valuable natural resource.
  5. Common Uses: Finds applications in decorative woodworking projects such as furniture accents, musical instruments, and ornamental crafts. Its unique appearance and durability make it a sought-after material for adding visual interest to various applications.
  6. Alternative Names: Known by alternative names such as letterwood or Amourette, reflecting its origins and distinctive characteristics.
  7. Countries of Origin: Native to the dense forests of South America, particularly in regions such as Guyana, Suriname, and Brazil.
  8. Furniture Making: Frequently used in furniture making for its durability and decorative qualities. Its rich color and intricate grain patterns add a touch of elegance to furniture pieces, making them stand out in any setting.

Wood Alternatives Based on Colour

  1. Bloodwood: With its deep, vibrant red hue, bloodwood offers a bold alternative to snakewood, adding warmth and richness to furniture projects.
  2. Bocote: Featuring a blend of dark and light tones, bocote shares similarities with snakewood’s aesthetic appeal, providing depth and visual interest to woodworking creations.
  3. Ziricote: Known for its swirling grain and warm brown hues, ziricote presents a softer alternative to snakewood, imbuing projects with natural beauty and sophistication.


Snakewood timber stands out for its rich colour, fine grain, and durability, making it a preferred choice for furniture projects. Its unique appearance and versatility in decorative applications make snakewood a favourite among woodworking enthusiasts.

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