Common Name(s): East Indian Rosewood, Indian Rosewood, sonokeling
Scientific Name: Dalbergia latifolia
Distribution: India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia
Janka Hardness: 2,440
Color/Appearance: Heartwood of East Indian Rosewood can vary from a golden brown to a deep purplish brown, with darker brown streaks. The wood darkens with age, usually becoming a deep brown.
Grain/Texture: Has a medium texture and fairly small pores. The grain is usually narrowly interlocked.
Workability: East Indian Rosewood can be difficult to work with tools because of its interlocked grain and density. The wood can sometimes contain chalky deposits that will rapidly dull cutting edges. Glues and finishes well, though color from the wood’s natural resins can inadvertently bleed onto surrounding surfaces when applying a finish, so care must be taken on the initial seal coats.
Sustainability: East Indian Rosewood is listed on CITES appendix II under the genus-wide restriction on all Dalbergia species—which also includes finished products made of the wood. It is also listed on the IUCN Red List as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.
Common Uses: Fine furniture, musical instruments, veneer, turned and other specialty wood objects.