Rainforest Plants – Rosewood

Family: Lauraceae

Genus: Aniba

Species: canelilla, rosaeodora

Common names: Casca preciosa, Rosewood, Pau-rosa, Legno di rose, Brazilian rosewood

General Description: Rosewood is known for the value of the wood, rather than for herbal consumption, although there has been some historical documentation of its use as a healthcare supplement. It is considered to be the most important wood to acoustic guitar and other musical instrument building today. Brazilian Rosewood is only able to reach its most brilliant colors when the trees are allowed to grow to old ages. Its trunk grows in spirals, creating a beautiful grain in harvested wood.

As with most kinds of rosewood, this timber is very hard and dense. It is used for flooring and for building furniture, in addition to musical instruments. It is also used for turnery, such as wooden chess sets, bowls, platters and candlesticks.

This valuable tree is known by numerous names, including Bahia Rosewood, Brazilian Rosewood, Rio Rosewood, Jacarandá De Brasil, Pianowood, Caviuna, and Obuina (Dalbergia nigra). The species is a legume, from the Leguminosa family.

Location: Rosewood is found in Brazil, from the eastern forests of the Baja (Bahai) to Rio de Janerio. It is seriously threatened by habitat loss, since most of its habitat has been converted to farmland. Due to its endangered status, it is CITES-listed, and illegal to trade. However, Honduras rosewood, which is also a rare species, is considered a substitute for Brazilian rosewood; Honduras rosewood is highly desired for making marimbas and xylophones.

Uses: Rosewood essential oil is from Aniba rosaeodora, a tree from the Amazon rainforests. The oil obtained from the wood and leaves is used in fragrances and soaps. Because Rosewood is an oily wood with open grain, its oil is wonderful for use in any skin care formulations as it rejuvenates and regenerates skin cells.

Rosewood is an evergreen tree now controlled as an endangered species by the Government of Brazil. In 1975, CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, came into existence and made it illegal to cut down Brazilian rosewood trees or export any new lumber. Wood harvested before June 11, 1992 is illegal to export; however a guitar with Brazilian rosewood parts can still be sold abroad if the shipment is accompanied by documentation testifying to its provenance.

Finally, Brazilian law makes illegal the harvesting of living Brazilian rosewood (Dalbergia nigra) trees. Its salvation may well be the fact that the Brazilian government requires a new Rosewood tree be planted for every one cut down.

Disclaimer: The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Any reference to medicinal use is not intended to treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.

Indonesia Outdoor Furniture by Tony Mandarich

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