It’s good to know what type of product you’re working with. Because the natural world of wood is so perfectly unpredictable and varied, familiarity with tree types and wood grain is one of the most important skills of woodworking.

Learning about the different types of woodgrain, and the trees they come from, can help a skilled woodworker expand their horizons. While many customers seem to love certain hardwoods, the trees they come from can often be endangered or exceedingly rare.

Sometimes, the best types of wood are more obscure. There are so many options out there, from the ridiculously hard African blackwood to soft pines, from the colorful purpleheart to the patterned Koa, from the ordinary cypress to the lovely-smelling cedar. Explore these 52 types of trees and their respective woodgrains to find something right for your next project. The wood with the right color and grain might come from a tree somewhere in the world that you never expected!