Yucatan Rosewood (Dalbergia yucatensis)

Yucatan Rosewood (Dalbergia tucurensis)

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Common Name(s): Yucatan Rosewood, Panama Rosewood, Nicaraguan Rosewood

Scientific Name: Dalbergia tucurensis

Distribution: Central and South America

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

Average Dried Weight: 42 lbs/ft3 (680 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .58, .68

Janka Hardness: 1,210 lbf (5,400 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 10,160 lbf/in2 (70.1 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,125,000 lbf/in2 (7.76 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 5,260 lbf/in2 (36.2 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 5.0%, Tangential: 6.8%, Volumetric: 9.9%, T/R Ratio: 1.4

Color/Appearance: Typically a cinnamon brown, heartwood color can be highly variable, ranging from a light brown to a deep, russet brown.  Grain tends to be somewhat bland, but darker streaks or swirled grain is occasionally present. Sharply demarcated sapwood is pale yellow. Overall appearance is very similar to Honduran Rosewood.

Grain/Texture: Grain is straight to interlocked. With a medium texture to fine texture, with large open pores, giving it a somewhat uneven feel. Moderate natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous or semi-diffuse porous; very large pores in no specific arrangement, very few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; mineral deposits occasionally present; growth rings usually distinct due to increased pore size and frequency in earlywood; rays not visible without lens; extensive apotracheal parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates, paratracheal parenchyma vasicentric, also weakly aliform, confluent, and banded.

Rot Resistance: Rated as durable; moderate insect/borer resistance.

Workability: Overall easier to work than other rosewoods, most likely on account of its lower density. Yucatan Rosewood also seems to have a lower oil content than other oily Dalbergia rosewoods, so gluing and finishing properties are somewhat better.  Turns well and takes a nice polish.

Odor: Unlike other rosewoods, Yucatan Rosewood has little to no scent while being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity: Yucatan Rosewood is claimed to have a decreased occurrence of adverse health effects and allergic reactions. Its lack of odor would suggest the wood to be of a different chemistry than other Dalbergia species. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Prices are in the low to mid range for an imported tropical species. Yucatan Rosewood is certainly much cheaper than most other Dalbergia species such as Cocobolo or Kingwood. At the time of this writing, (2011), Yucatan Rosewood is fairly new to the mainstream wood market, so it’s hard to tell if prices will remain stable, or increase due to over-harvesting—as is the unfortunate case with so many species within the genus. It is usually sold in the form of turning wood, or in thin or small stock sizes.

Sustainability: This wood species is in CITES Appendix III, but is not on the IUCN Red List.

Common Uses: Turned objects, musical instruments, furniture, and small specialty wood objects.

Comments: Known more commonly as Panama Rosewood among guitar-makers. Mistakenly sold as Dalbergia yucatensis among many retailers selling turning blanks, the scientific name is not listed or recognized by any authoritative scientific source, and is more than likely Dalberiga tucurensis.

Related Species:

Related Articles:

Scans/Pictures:

Yucatan Rosewood (Dalbergia yucatensis)

Yucatan Rosewood (sanded)

Yucatan Rosewood (sealed)

Yucatan Rosewood (sealed)

Yucatan Rosewood (endgrain)

Yucatan Rosewood (endgrain)

Yucatan Rosewood (endgrain 10x)

Yucatan Rosewood (endgrain 10x)

Yucatan Rosewood (turned)

Yucatan Rosewood, Osage Orange, Black Walnut (turned)