Siamese Rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis)

Siamese Rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis)

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Common Name(s): Siamese Rosewood, Vietnamese Rosewood, Thailand Rosewood, Cambodian Rosewood 

Scientific Name: Dalbergia cochinchinensis

Distribution: Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos

Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 65 lbs/ft3 (1,035 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .85, 1.03

Janka Hardness: 2,430 lbf (10,790 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 24,800 lbf/in2 (171.0 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 2,375,000 lbf/in2 (16.38 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 16,970 lbf/in2 (117.0 MPa)

Shrinkage: No data available

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a medium to dark reddish brown with darker brown to black streaks throughout. Sapwood is a pale yellowish white, sharply demarcated from heartwood. 

Grain/Texture: Grain is straight to slightly interlocked. Medium to fine uniform texture with good natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; exclusively solitary; very large pores in no specific arrangement, few to very few; mineral deposits occasionally present; parenchyma winged, reticulate; narrow rays, spacing normal.

Rot Resistance: Reported to be very durable, though seldom used in applications where rot resistance is required.

Workability: Despite its density and occasionally interlocked grain, workability is fairly good. As with all rosewoods, Siamese Rosewood can be difficult to glue or finish. Turns well.

Odor: Mild scent not resembling most rosewoods in the Dalbergia genus.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are somewhat uncommon, Siamese Rosewood has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually the most common reaction is skin irritation, as well as other effects such as rashes or hives. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Increasingly scarce due to recent CITES restrictions. Turning blanks and burls are occasionally available. Prices are high for an imported hardwood.

Sustainability: Siamese Rosewood is listed on CITES appendix II under the genus-wide restriction on all Dalbergia species—which also includes finished products made of the wood. It is also listed on the IUCN Red List 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 (see comments section below).

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

Comments: Although beautiful and venerated as a true rosewood in the Dalbergia genus, Siamese Rosewood has been one of the central species in illegal logging in Asia. To help put it in perspective, as of 2013, the largest remaining Dalbergia cochinchinensis tree in Thailand is currently guarded day and night by an entire platoon of Thai soldiers. Siamese Rosewood may fairly be called a blood wood, and sadly, the label has nothing to do with the color of the wood.

Related Species:

Related Articles:

Scans/Pictures:

Siamese Rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis)

Siamese Rosewood (sanded)

Siamese Rosewood (sealed)

Siamese Rosewood (sealed)

Siamese Rosewood (endgrain)

Siamese Rosewood (endgrain)

Siamese Rosewood (endgrain 10x)

Siamese Rosewood (endgrain 10x)

  • Kip Keino

    I cut some branches on a Siamese rosewood on my property in northern Thailand. The sap is dark red and looks like slightly watered down blood. I also planted about 15 on my property. The sapwood is reddish now, but judging from the photos in this report, I expect it to change to brown as it cures.

    • floridamckees

      About what age does the tree produce seeds?

      • Kip Keino

        Hi Gerald, I’m not sure whether I’m replying to you in person, or whether it’s on the public blog. Anyhow, you had asked: “Kip, is it possible to find any Siamese Rosewood for sale in Thailand? I’ve see some small products made from S. Rosewood in a few markets, but that’s all. Regards, Gerald” Answer: yes. I know where to get some. email me: dathailand at hotmail .com and I can be more specific. And tell me what sorts of dimensions you’re interested in. Thanks, Ken

    • Wandee Kiaophimai

      HI Kip

      Would you have some of this wood for sale we are looking for 2 pieces from one meter ling 6 cm thick and between 3 and 22 cm wide

      Regards
      Wandee

      • Kip Keino

        Yes. Can you get to Chiang Rai. I’ll be glad to show you what I have available, and we can work out a price. Ken tel. 0855255435 email: tinpothat at gmail

  • Chickie Galore

    People Suck. Leave the trees alone.