Padauk originates from central and west tropical Africa and its most striking feature is its colour. The sapwood, the outer living part of a stem or branch, hides a beautiful orange-red heartwood. Although over time when exposed to the air the bright heartwood will dull towards brown, as long as it is sealed and treated properly the vibrancy can be maintained for a number of years.
Before the introduction of synthetic dyes, Padauk was used by indigenous people as a cloth dye and the sap (which looks similar to blood) was often used as part of religious ceremonies.
As well as its colour, Padauk does also have a lovely grain. The fact that the grain is quite delicate means that it provides texture but doesn’t interfere with complex designs. The wood is also very hard making it excellent for more complex carved wands. On the other hand Padauk also works well for very simple wand designs as the colour is often enough of a feature on its own.