Leopardwood and lacewood are indeed two distinct species, Roy, though people (even hardwood dealers) often confuse them with one another. Use these characteristics to tell the two apart: Both leopardwood, above left , and lacewood, above right , display flecks caused by rays that bisect the growth rings. But leopardwood’s flecks tend to be splashy and round (like a leopard’s spots), where lacewood’s appear wispy, coming to a point on both ends. With a pinkish-brown to chocolate-brown color range, leopardwood weighs in as the denser and darker of the two woods. Lacewood has a light-pink to light-brown color and a sheen that makes it appear to glow.
Leopardwood is frequently confused with Lacewood, and is sometimes referred to as such. In its vaguest sense, the term “lacewood” is used to describe any wood that displays figuring that resembles lace, (which would technically include Leopardwood). Attempts to identify a specific board macroscopically may be difficult. Two Australian species, Northern Silky Oak ( Cardwellia sublimis ), and Southern Silky Oak ( Grevillea robusta ) can both look very similar, and are sometimes sold as Australian Lacewood.
Leopardwood ( Roupala spp. ) can usually be separated from most species of Lacewood ( Panopsis spp. ) based upon its darker color and higher density. Additionally, when comparing the endgrain of these two genera, Leopardwood has wider spaced parenchyma bands: approximately 3-4 per mm versus 5-6 per mm with Lacewood.