Black Palm: Borassus flabellifer: Perhaps the most unique wood on this list, black palm is technically a member of the grass family and therefore a monocot. The wood is also incredibly unique, lacking any growth rings or other features commonly associated with wood. Instead, the wood contains varying densities of incredibly hard, tough, dark fibers embedded in a softer, deep brown matrix. These darker fibers give the palm its strength and pieces with a high density of these fibers can be incredibly strong and denser than water. Most of the Palm you will find on my site is bias cut and stabilized. Bias cut refers to a cut that takes place at an angle relative to the direction of the denser fibers, which grow parallel to the height of the tree. This results in a stunning effect similar to the appearance of fish scales or a grouping of leopard spots. The wood is stabilized—not for added density or strength, which palm already has in abundance—but rather to prevent tear out. In unstabilized pieces, the darker fibers often tear out of the matrix leaving unsightly gaps. By professionally stabilizing the wood, this can be mostly if not completely eliminated. Black palm is beloved for its ability to take a beautiful, show-grade finish while remaining grippy and tactile even when wet. The grip of black palm is roughly on par with rough canvas micarta, even when the palm has been polished to a high finish.