CITESwoodID: descriptions, illustrations, identification and information retrieval


H. G. Richter, K. Gembruch, G. Koch

Dalbergia nigra Fr. All. (Rio Palisander, Brazilian rosewood) - CITES I

Nomenclature. Family: FABACEAE-FABOIDEAE. Further trade and local names: Rio Palisander, Rio Jacarandá, Brasilianisches Rosenholz (DE); palissandre Brésil, palissandre Rio (FR); Brazilian rosewood (GB); cabiúna, camboré, caviuna legitima, jacarandá, pau preto, urauna (BR); palissandro (IT); palisandro (ES); palissander Rio (NL). Code according to DIN EN 13556: DLNG. Internal code: RIO.

CITES(EU) status of protection. Listed in Annex I(A). Similar woods: , Cordia glabrata, Dalbergia latifolia, Dalbergia madagascariensis, Dalbergia spruceana, Dalbergia stevensonii (CITES), Machaerium scleroxylum, Platymiscium spp. (CITES p.p.).

Geographic distribution. Tropical South America. Northeast Brazil, from southern Bahia to northern São Paulo, west into Minas Gerais.

Growth rings, colour, grain, etc. Growth ring boundaries distinct to indistinct or absent (to be recognized occasionally on clean-cut transverse surfaces). Heartwood basically brown to red to black; with streaks. Sapwood distinct from heartwood colour (whitish to yellowish grey). Heartwood colour varies considerably between trees and even within one log. At irregular intervals dark brown to purple brown to black streaks can be observed which cause a characteristic figure on both radial and tangential surfaces. Odour distinct (aromatic sweetish when freshly cut). Wood of medium weight to heavy and hard (0,75–0.90 g/cm3). Interlocked grain absent (however, irregular grain of frequent occurrence).

Hardwood vs softwood. Vessels (pores) present (= hardwood).

Vessels (pores). Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels (pores) in multiples; commonly in short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Vessels medium to large (75–175–250 µm); very few (1–2–4). Tyloses absent. Other deposits in heartwood vessels (pores) present (dark brown), or absent (in case sapwood is mistaken for heartwood).

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma present; banded and not banded. Parenchyma bands not (only) marginal; narrow; forming a reticulate pattern with rays. Other macroscopically visible types of axial parenchyma: diffuse-in-aggregates and vasicentric (apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse and diffuse-in-aggregates; paratracheal axial parenchyma vasicentric (also weakly aliform and paratracheal unilateral)).

Rays. Rays narrow; of uniform size. Large rays commonly less than 1 mm high.

Storied structure. Storied structure present. Tiers regular (horizontal or slightly inclined); 5–6 per axial millimetre.

Resin canals. Normal resin canals absent.

Physical and chemical tests. Heartwood not fluorescent. Water extract not fluorescent; colourless to brown, or red. Heartwood extractives leaching out when in contact with water. Ethanol extract fluorescent (greenish blue); colourless to brown, or red. Froth test positive. Splinter burns to full ash, or to partial ash; colour of ash white to grey.

Additional information. Brazil (1992): CITES Proposal. Inclusion of the species Dalbergia nigra in Appendix I of the Convention. See also: Informationsdienst Holz Merkblatt Nr.: 53; 66. • rio.jpg. Dalbergia nigra (Rio Palisander, Brazilian rosewood). Transverse section ca. 10x. Tangential surface, natural size. • rio-piq.jpg. Dalbergia nigra (Rio Palisander, Brazilian rosewood). Cordia glabrata (Louro preto, Piquana negra). The vessels (pores) of Cordia glabrata are much smaller and more numerous, sometimes arranged in clusters (marked) and filled with tyloses. The non-storied rays of Cordia glabrata are relatively high and broad; the wood is odourless. • rio-son.jpg. Dalbergia nigra (Rio Palisander, Brazilian rosewood). Dalbergia latifolia (Indian rosewood, Sonokeling). 1. 2. The vessels (pores) of Dalbergia latifolia are more numerous than in Dalbergia nigra. The paratracheal axial parenchyma of Dalbergia latifolia is more distinctly aliform (winglike) (1) and confluent (2). • rio-ama.jpg. Dalbergia nigra (Rio Palisander, Brazilian rosewood). Dalbergia spruceana (Amazonas Palisander, Amazonas rosewood). The timbers of Dalbergia nigra and Dalbergia spruceana are virtually indistinguishable given their similar colour and figure. However, wood of Dalbergia spruceana is heavier (harder) and nearly odourless; its ethanol extract fluoresces blue, that of Dalbergia nigra greenish blue. • rio-hpa.jpg. Dalbergia stevensonii (Honduras Palisander, Honduras rosewood). • rio-mor.jpg. Dalbergia nigra (Rio Palisander, Brazilian rosewood). Machaerium scleroxylon (Santos Palisander, Morado). Machaerium scleroxylon and Dalbergia nigra are very similar in colour and figure. However, Machaerium scleroxylon has much smaller and more numerous vessels (pores) than Dalbergia nigra; the parenchyma bands are exclusively marginal. • rio-gra.jpg. Platymiscium yucatanum (Granadillo).

The interactive key allows access to the character list, illustrations, full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting specified attributes, summaries of attributes within groups of taxa, and geographical distribution.

Cite this publication as: ‘Richter, H.G., Gembruch, K., and Koch, G. 2014 onwards. CITESwoodID: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. In English, French, German, and Spanish. Version: 16th May 2014.’.