Yes its around but very rare (I will try and dig out a blank and photo it if I can make some time). I will be going in the bush first part of Feb. Thats on the list along with some other super rare stuff (cocobolo burl to name another). Mostly will be for the standard HRB though.
Did a search and found this thread, anyone found any yet? I've also wondered about zebrawood burl, or figured zebrawood. Or anything other than normal snakewood. Sounds like rare wood collecting could turn into an obsession within an obsession!
Purpleheart; Peltogyne spp; from the family: Leguminosae, can be found in tropical America from Mexico to southern Brazil and is also known as amaranth and violetwood in the USA. in south America it is known as korobooreli, saka, sakavalli, purplehart, pau roxo, nazareno, morado, tananeo, and amarante. I have used a good amount of Purpleheart in my years and have never seen so much as a knot in any I have had. I am sure there are crotch cuts and burls the same as any other tree, but you never see them for sale. In answer to Joe S, rare woods can and are very expensive now that there are so many import and export bans. You also have to be very careful getting wood from China because many of them are illegaly harvested. Jim S
'burl' it more of a deformed growth if you will, a tree limb that is unable to break free of the trunk and grows and grows and grows, insects, viral or fungus. Some wood this happens more frequently than others. Many times the burl will be underground. Also since purple heart is quite stable in production the methods they use and locations probably plays a key role in this wood having a very low burl rate.
The other aspect you could look at is the roots, that to will give burl type patterns.
I just received some rare and exotic blanks from Gilmer Woods (gilmerwood.com). Most of the blanks you select from photos, and those are the ones you receive. Jim will also pick out the best blanks he has to send to you. They are graded and you pay according to the grade you choose. When you get on his sight, look for pen blanks - exotic woods. He has some woods from old stock that can no longer be imported into the USA. Being my first order, I did not get the show grade blanks until I new what the quality would be. They were beautiful!! Even my wife was impressed with the colors and grain patterns. I looked at the site last night for Purpleheart. He didn't have any burl, but he did have some highly figured pieces in odd sizes. ( not pen blanks, but larger pieces.) He has a lot of blanks in 1" x 12" size. If you cut these on your bandsaw from corner to corner, you can get 2 barrels out of a 2" length of stock. 6 complete pens out of a 12" blank. When you are buying high price blanks, that's stretching that blank a long way and cutting down your cost!! As far as the burl, I would call him and ask if it can be purchased. Jim S