Honduran Rosewood (Dalbergia stevensonii)

Honduran Rosewood (Dalbergia stevensonii)

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Common Name(s): Honduran Rosewood, Honduras Rosewood

Scientific Name: Dalbergia stevensonii

Distribution: Belize (British Honduras)

Tree Size: 50-100 ft (15-30 m) tall, 3 ft (1 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 64 lbs/ft3 (1,025 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .82., 1.03

Janka Hardness: 2,200 lbf (9,790 N)

Modulus of Rupture: No data available

Elastic Modulus: 3,190,000 lbf/in2 (22.00 GPa)

Crushing Strength: No data available

Shrinkage: No data available

Color/Appearance: Heartwood color can range from a deep brownish-purple to a light-brown. Most common is a brownish-mauve color. Clearly demarcated sapwood is a pale yellow.

Grain/Texture: Grain is usually straight or slightly interlocked. Fine to medium texture, with good natural luster.

Endgrain: Semi-ring-porous to diffuse-porous; medium to very large pores, very few to few; solitary and radial multiples; heartwood deposits (reddish brown and dark brown) common; parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates, vasicentric, and banded; rays narrow, normal to fairly close spacing.

Rot Resistance: Rated as very durable, with moderate insect resistance.

Workability: Can be somewhat difficult to machine, and tends to ride over jointer blades, and has a moderate blunting effect on cutting edges. Because of its high oil content, gluing can be problematic, and the wood’s color can bleed into surrounding wood when applying a finish. Turns well.

Odor: Has a distinct smell when being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity: Reported as a sensitizer; can cause skin, eye, and respirator irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Diminishing availability, though still seen in both lumber and turning blank form. Prices are in the mid to upper range for an imported hardwood.

Sustainability: Although Honduran 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: Fine furniture, musical instruments, veneer, turned and other specialty wood objects.

Comments: Honduran Rosewood is known for its acoustic properties, possessing an excellent tap-tone, making it well-suited for acoustic guitars, xylophone keys, and other acoustic musical instruments.

Related Species:

Related Articles:

Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Steve Earis for providing the wood sample (endgrain) and turned photo of this wood species.

Honduran Rosewood (Dalbergia stevensonii)

Honduran Rosewood (sanded)

Honduran Rosewood (sealed)

Honduran Rosewood (sealed)

Honduran Rosewood (endgrain)

Honduran Rosewood (endgrain)

Honduran Rosewood (endgrain 10x)

Honduran Rosewood (endgrain 10x)

Honduran Rosewood (turned)

Honduran Rosewood (turned)

Bookmatched panels with sapwood

Bookmatched panels with sapwood


  1. James February 6, 2018 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    This particular species of “rosewood” is the definitive wood used for the manufacture of marimbas and xylophones. It is also used and very expensive string instruments for fingerboards. There is no other wood that produces the quality of sound of this. Not to be confused with genuine mahogany, which also grows in central America. It is an endangered species and as a result nearly impossible to import into the U.S.

  2. A.C. Downing May 21, 2015 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    Is Honduran rosewood another name for Mahogany?

    • ejmeier May 22, 2015 at 10:10 am - Reply

      No. The two are very different woods.

      There’s also Honduran Mahogany, which is just the common name for true mahogany.

      • A.C. Downing May 23, 2015 at 10:16 pm - Reply

        Thank you for reply. ????????

        • Laodamas September 19, 2016 at 11:46 pm - Reply

          Jamaican Mahogany is better quality than Honduran, grows more slowly.

  3. Trevor March 18, 2013 at 9:35 am - Reply

    I was not that impressed about Honduran rosewood because it was too light and it does not smell like rosewood.

    • ejmeier May 22, 2015 at 10:12 am - Reply

      You might be thinking of Yucatan or Panama Rosewood (Dalbergia tucurensis). Honduran Rosewood is actually heavier than most types of rosewood (such as Brazilian or East Indian). It does have a bit of a different scent to it though.

      • ?214 December 8, 2017 at 1:43 am - Reply

        I’ve found that the scent is actually closest to Brazilian of all the dalbergia woods I worked with while working as a laser operator at a guitar factory. The scent is a little less of a pure sweetness compared to Brazilian, but it is nearly as strong and permeating–at least on a laser cutter.

    • ?214 December 8, 2017 at 1:41 am - Reply

      Honduran rosewood has the scent closest to Brazilian RW. You were not working with Honduran RW.

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