Rosewood, Indian (Dalbergia latifolia)

Rosewood, Indian is an imported hardwood


Indian rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia) is native to most provinces of India except in the northwest.


The heartwood varies in color from golden brown to dark purplish brown with denser blackish streaks at the end of growth zones, giving rise to an attractive figure on flat-sawn surfaces. The narrow sapwood is yellowish. The average weight is about 849 kg/m3 (53 lb/ft3) at 12% moisture content. The texture is uniform and moderately coarse. Indian rosewood is quite similar in appearance to Brazilian (Dalbergia nigra) and Honduran (Dalbergia stevensonii) rosewood. The wood is reported to kiln-dry well though slowly, and the color improves during drying. Indian rosewood is a heavy wood with high strength properties; after drying, it is particularly hard for its weight. The wood is moderately hard to work with hand tools and offers a fair resistance in machine operations. Lumber with calcareous deposits tends to dull tools rapidly. The wood turns well and has high screw-holding properties. If a very smooth surface is required for certain purposes, pores (vessels) may need to be filled.

Primary Uses

Indian rosewood is essentially a decorative wood for high quality furniture and cabinetwork. In the United States, it is used primarily in the form of veneer.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.