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Forest Products Laboratory
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Wood Technical Fact Sheet

Dalbergia stevensonii

Honduras Rosewood

Family: Leguminosae

Other Common Names: Palissandre du Honduras (French), Palisandro de Honduras (Spanish), Honduras Rosenholz (German).

Distribution: Reported only in Belize (British Honduras) occurring in fairly large patches along rivers but also on inter-riverine and drier areas; mostly between Sarstoon and Monkey Rivers.

The Tree: Attains a height of 50 to 100 ft, with trunk diameters to 3 ft. Boles are often fluted and short, commonly forked at about 20 to 25 ft from the ground.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood is pinkish brown to purple with alternating dark and light zones forming a very attractive figure, distinct from 1- to 2-in.- thick yellow sapwood. Texture medium to rather fine; grain generally straight to slightly roey; luster low to medium; fresh wood has an aromatic odor which dissipates with age, taste not distinctive to slightly bitter.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.75 to 0.88; air- dry density 58 to 68 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: No data available.

Drying and Shrinkage: Reported to air-dry slowly with a marked tendency to check. Kiln schedule T3-C2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-C1 for 8/4. Shrinkage values similar to other American rosewoods which are unusually low. Holds its place well after manufacturing.

Working Properties: Moderately difficult to saw and machine due to its hardness, dulls cutting edges; tends to ride over cutters. Excellent for turning and finishes well if not too oily.

Durability: Heartwood is highly durable, reported to be moderately resistant to termites.

Preservation: No data available.

Uses: Parts of musical instruments including percussion bars of xylophones, veneers for fine furniture and cabinets, brush backs, knife handles, fine turnery, many specialty items.

Additional Reading: (22), (46), (56)

22. Farmer, R. H. (Editor). 1972. Handbook of hardwoods. H. M. Stationery Office, London.

46. Longwood, F. R. 1962. Present and potential commercial timbers of the Caribbean. Agriculture Handbook No. 207. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

56. Record, S. J., and R. W. Hess. 1949. Timbers of the new world. Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn.

From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.