Amazon Rosewood (Dalbergia spruceana)

Amazon Rosewood (Dalbergia spruceana)

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Common Name(s): Amazon Rosewood

Scientific Name: Dalbergia spruceana

Distribution: Brazil, Venezuela, and Bolivia

Tree Size: No data available

Average Dried Weight: 68 lbs/ft3 (1,085 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .89, 1.08

Janka Hardness: 2,620 lbf (11,650 N)

Modulus of Rupture: No data available

Elastic Modulus: No data available

Crushing Strength: No data available

Shrinkage: No data available

Color/Appearance: Amazon Rosewood tends to be an orange or reddish brown, with darker contrasting streaks. Lighter yellowish sapwood is clearly demarcated from heartwood. Overall, Amazon Rosewood bears a close resemblance to Brazilian Rosewood, both on the facegrain and also the endgrain.

Grain/Texture: Amazon Rosewood has uniform, medium texture with open pores.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; medium pores in no specific arrangement; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; mineral deposits present; growth rings indistinct; rays not visible without lens; parenchyma banded (seemingly marginal), apotracheal parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates, paratracheal parenchyma vasicentric and aliform.

Rot Resistance: No data available, though being a dense rosewood, it’s most likely very durable.

Workability: Amazon Rosewood can be fairly difficult to work on account of its density, which is very close to that of Cocobolo. (It also needs to be glued with care—as do most other true rosewoods.) Amazon Rosewood turns and finishes well, and can be polished to a high natural luster.

Odor: Amazon Rosewood has a distinct, rosewood-like scent while being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, rosewood in the Dalbergia genus has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include eye, skin, and respiratory irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Likely to be very expensive; although not listed on any CITES appendices as being an endangered species, Amazon Rosewood is a rare wood and supplies are likely to be very limited. It is most often sold either as thin craft wood, (usually with dimensions suitable for guitar-building), or as turning stock.

Sustainability: Although Amazon Rosewood is not evaluated on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, it is listed on CITES appendix II under the genus-wide restriction on all Dalbergia species—which also includes finished products made of the wood. 

Common Uses: Knife scales, guitars (back/sides), pens, and other small turned objects.

Comments: Amazon Rosewood is perhaps the closest replacement (visually) to the endangered and highly restricted Brazilian Rosewood. Yet because Amazon Rosewood’s dried weight (on average) exceeds 1,000 kg/m3—the weight of water—one of the simplest ways to distinguish between the two species is by a float test: Brazilian Rosewood (assuming it is dried to at least 12% EMC) will almost always float, whereas Amazon Rosewood will usually sink.

Sometimes Macacauba (Platymiscium spp.) is also sold occasionally under the name “Amazon Rosewood,” so care must be taken to ensure purchasing the correct species.

Related Species:

Related Articles:

Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Steve Earis for providing the wood sample of this wood species.

Amazon Rosewood (Dalbergia spruceana)

Amazon Rosewood (sanded)

Amazon Rosewood (sealed)

Amazon Rosewood (sealed)

Amazon Rosewood (endgrain)

Amazon Rosewood (endgrain)

Amazon Rosewood (endgrain 10x)

Amazon Rosewood (endgrain 10x)