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Properties of Rosewood

Rosewood is a widely used type of hardwood known by many names. There are dozens of varieties of this type of hardwood including Honduran rosewood. Rosewood varieties can be found in many countries across the globe. This type of wood is very durable, tough and hard. These properties lend to its many applications.

Most rosewoods are darker in appearance with courser textures.


Rosewood takes on many appearances. Most varieties of rosewood feature a moderately coarse, uniform texture. Grain patterns in this type of wood are generally interlocking. This type of wood can appear purple/brown in color. Most varieties of rosewood, however, feature rich red or brown tones. The beautiful outward appearance of most varieties of rosewood has prompted many musical instrument and furniture manufacturers to employ rosewood in the creation of their products.


Many Rosewood varieties can be found across the globe. Traditionally, a rosewood variety is named after its country of origin. Bolivian rosewood, or Machaerium scleroxylon, is dark brown in appearance and features a purplish or black grain. This variety of rosewood is often found in areas like Brazil and Bolivia. Honduran rosewood, or Dalbergia stevensonii, features burgundy overtones. This rosewood appears creamy brown and is also found in many areas across South America.


All types of rosewood are relatively hard, dense, heavy varieties of wood. Compared with other hardwood varieties, these woods offer medium shock resistance, relatively high crushing strengths and high bending strengths. Rosewoods also offer good stability. Most varieties of rosewood such as Bolivian rosewood machine and sand very well. These woods hold nails and screws very well compared to other types of hardwood, and glue adheres relatively well. Most varieties of rosewood offer generally the same densities. Bolivian rosewood offers density of around 44.3 pounds per cubic foot. The density of East Indian rosewood is slightly higher than Bolivian rosewood; it is approximately 48.7 pounds per cubic foot.


There are countless applications for the many varieties of rosewood. This type of wood is most widely employed for ornamental and decorative purposes. Furniture, paneling and cabinetry are all often constructed out of hardwoods like rosewood. Many mathematical instruments such as rulers and musical instruments such as violins are made out of rosewood. Brush backs, inlays and decorative flooring are also often made out of rosewood.