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

  • Trevor

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

    • ejmeier

      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.

  • A.C. Downing

    Is Honduran rosewood another name for Mahogany?

    • ejmeier

      No. The two are very different woods.

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

      • A.C. Downing

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

        • Laodamas

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