Common Name(s): Tulipwood
Scientific Name: Dalbergia decipularis (also Dalbergia frutescens)
Distribution: Northeastern Brazil
Tree Size: 20-30 ft (6-9 m) tall, less than 1 ft (.3 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 60 lbs/ft3 (970 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .88, .97
Janka Hardness: 2,500 lbf (11,120 N)
Modulus of Rupture: No data available
Elastic Modulus: No data available
Crushing Strength: No data available
Color/Appearance: Heartwood is streaked with yellows, reds, oranges, and pinks. Color and figure can be highly variegated.
Grain/Texture: Pores are open and medium-sized. Grain is usually straight, with a fine texture.
Endgrain: Semi-ring-porous or ring-porous; very large earlywood pores grading down to medium latewood pores, sometimes arranged radially, very few to few; solitary and in radial multiples of 2-3; yellow and reddish heartwood deposits present; narrow rays not visible without lens, spacing fairly close; parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates, vasicentric, unilateral, winged, and banded (marginal).
Rot Resistance: Reported as having a low decay resistance, although it is resistant to insect attack.
Workability: Tends to be difficult to work due to its high density; also has a blunting effect on cutters. Can be difficult to glue do to an abundance of natural oils and high density. Turns very well and takes a high polish.
Odor: Has a mild, fragrant odor when being worked.
Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, rosewood in the Dalbergia genus, (such as Tulipwood), 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, and seldom available as boards. Tulipwood is most often seen as smaller turning stock, with its cost being on par with other scarce exotics in the Dalbergia genus.
Sustainability: Although Brazilian Tulipwood 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: Veneer, fine furniture, inlay, marquetry, musical instruments (percussion), and small turned objects.
Tulipwood is a stunningly beautiful hardwood which is in short supply. The tree itself is only found in a narrow geographical area, and it’s small enough to be considered a shrub: typically yielding very small and narrow boards. Because of these limitations, Tulipwood is generally reserved for very small specialty wood items and accent pieces.
- African Blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon)
- Amazon Rosewood (Dalbergia spruceana)
- Bois de Rose (Dalbergia maritima)
- Brazilian Rosewood (Dalbergia nigra)
- Burmese Blackwood (Dalbergia cultrata)
- Burmese Rosewood (Dalbergia oliveri)
- Cocobolo (Dalbergia retusa)
- East Indian Rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia)
- Honduran Rosewood (Dalbergia stevensonii)
- Kingwood (Dalbergia cearensis)
- Madagascar Rosewood (Dalbergia baronii)
- Siamese Rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis)
- Sissoo (Dalbergia sissoo)
- Yucatan Rosewood (Dalbergia tucurensis)
Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Steve Earis for providing the turned photo of this wood species.