Common Name(s): Honduran rosewood, Honduras rosewood
Scientific Name: Dalbergia stevensonii
Distribution: Very limited range primarily within Belize (British Honduras),as well as popoultions in
Tree Size: 50-100 ft (15-30 m) tall,
2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 64 lbs/ft3 (1,025 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): 0.82, 1.03
Janka Hardness: 2,200 lbf (9,790 N)
Modulus of Rupture: No data available
Elastic Modulus: 3,190,000 lbf/in2 (22 GPa)
Crushing Strength: No data available
Shrinkage: No data available, but it is reported to have very low shrinkage rates consistent with most rosewoods.
Color/Appearance: Heartwood ranges from light brown to deep purplish brown; brownish-mauve is most common. Sometimes with contrasting darker brown stripes. Sharply demarcated sapwood is pale yellow.
Grain/Texture: Grain is usually straight or slightly interlocked. Fine to medium texture, with good natural luster.
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, though sometimes milder than most rosewoods.
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 (though finished items under 10 kilograms are exempted).
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.
The peculiar species name is in honor of Neil S. Stevenson, who collected the type specimen and first described it in 1927.
Porosity: semi-ring porous to diffuse porous
Arrangement: solitary and radial multiples
Vessels: grading from medium to very large, few; reddish-brown colored deposits common
Parenchyma: diffuse-in-aggregates, vasicentric, and banded (marginal)
Rays: narrow width; normal spacing
Lookalikes/Substitutes: Honduran rosewood can be confused with other true (Dalbergia genus) rosewoods, especially Yucatan rosewood (D. tucurensis). The two can be separated on the basis of density (among other criteria)—where the average dried weight for D. stevensonii is significantly heavier than D. tucurensis. Honduran rosewood can also be distinguished from other species if the pores are sufficiently semi-ring porous, but this feature isn’t consistently present.
Amazon rosewood (D. spruceana) is another species with very similar weight and anatomy. However, wood splinters of D. stevensonii will fully burn to white ash, while D. spruceana splinters burn to charcoal.
Notes: Ripple marks present