East Indian Rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia)

East Indian Rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia)

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Common Name(s): East Indian Rosewood, Indian Rosewood

Scientific Name: Dalbergia latifolia

Distribution: India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia

Tree Size: 100 ft (30 m) tall, 2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 52 lbs/ft3 (830 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .70, .83

Janka Hardness: 2,440 lbf (10,870 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 16,590 lbf/in2 (114.4 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,668,000 lbf/in2 (11.50 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 8,660 lbf/in2 (59.7 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 2.7%, Tangential: 5.9%, Volumetric: 8.5%, T/R Ratio: 2.2

Color/Appearance: Heartwood of East Indian Rosewood can vary from a golden brown to a deep purplish brown, with darker brown streaks. The wood darkens with age, usually becoming a deep brown.

Grain/Texture: Has a medium texture and fairly small pores. The grain is usually narrowly interlocked.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; large pores in no specific arrangement; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; heartwood deposits occasionally present; growth rings indistinct; rays not visible without lens; parenchyma banded, paratracheal parenchyma vasicentric, aliform (lozenge and winged), and confluent.

Rot Resistance: Rated as very durable and resistant to termite attack.

Workability: East Indian Rosewood can be difficult to work with tools because of its interlocked grain and density. The wood can sometimes contain chalky deposits that will rapidly dull cutting edges. Glues and finishes well, though color from the wood’s natural resins can inadvertently bleed onto surrounding surfaces when applying a finish, so care must be taken on the initial seal coats.

Odor: Has a distinct, rose-like scent when being worked; some find its scent less pleasant than other Dalbergia rosewoods.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are somewhat uncommon, East Indian Rosewood has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually the most common reaction is skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Generally good availability in both board and turning blank form. Expect prices to be high for an imported hardwood, though not as prohibitively high as some of the scarcer rosewoods.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.

Common Uses: Fine furniture, musical instruments, veneer, turned and other specialty wood objects.

Comments: East Indian Rosewood has been used extensively on acoustic guitars since the mid 1960s as a substitute for the now-endangered Brazilian Rosewood.

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.

East Indian Rosewood (sanded)

East Indian Rosewood (sanded)

East Indian Rosewood (sealed)

East Indian Rosewood (sealed)

East Indian Rosewood (endgrain)

East Indian Rosewood (endgrain)

East Indian Rosewood (endgrain 10x)

East Indian Rosewood (endgrain 10x)

East Indian Rosewood (turned)

East Indian Rosewood (turned)