South American Walnut
North American Walnut
The botanical name for Suar tree is Albizia saman. This species of tree is under the family of Fabaceae. Suar tree is native to the Neotropics, but it has been widely introduced to South and Southeast Asia. The common for Suar includes Rain Tree, Saman, Monkeypod and Acacia.
Suar Tree is not a fruit tree. It produces see pod shown in the picture on the left. Suar tree is a relatively fast growing and abundant tree depending on the region it grows in. Due to these reasons, Suar tree can be found in big diameter suitable to be use to manufacture bigger size furniture pieces. Unlike Walnut tree, Suar tree does no produce edible fruits. Suar wood has a medium hardness unlike Walnut wood which is a type of hard wood. Another name used for Suar wood is East Indian Walnut. But East Indian Walnut is not at all closely related to Walnut. For more read-up and information, kindly refer to here and here.
Why retailer use different name for Suar Wood
The wood commonly marketed and sold under these name is not walnut at all but Suar or Acacia. I need to stress the point again that Walnut trees belong to the family Juglandaceae while Suar trees are members of the family Fabaceae as highlighted earlier on. Suar wood is marketed as walnut because retailers feel that the name is more appealing to buyers. Suar wood holds wood stain very well and with its wood grain can be very similar to Walnut wood. With most buyers are very familiar with the properties of the wood, Suar wood can be pass off to end users as Walnut wood after applying walnut colour wood stain onto Suar wood.
Selling Suar wood as Walnut wood is a very lucrative business because Walnut is a highly prized wood. The high price of solid Walnut wood is highly recognised by many consumers. Just by changing the name of Suar, retailer can demand at least 2 to 3 times the price of a normal Suar wood. End users tends to fall for the deal when they come across a piece of fake Walnut wood at a low price. These practices can be seen when some suppliers or retailers post their so called Walnut products but look very much alike those of Suar wood products.
Definitely in the market, there are suppliers and retailers selling genuine Walnut wood. Be advise that a big piece of solid Walnut wood that can be made into a table can demand a very high price. The ways to bring down the cost of solid Walnut furniture is either to use smaller pieces Walnut wood, joined together to form a bigger piece or to use Walnut veneers to paste them over a inferior wood. The best way to protect yourself when shopping for Walnut products is to read up more information and study the natural wood tone and wood grain of Walnut carefully or purchase from a trusted retailer or supplier. Not to be fooled by a piece of Suar wood in Walnut wood stain colour.