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Dalbergia stevensonii - Standl.

Common Name Honduras Rosewood
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rainforests, mainly along the rivers, though also occurring in their inter-riverain and drier areas[ 378 ].
Range Central America - Belize.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Dalbergia stevensonii Honduras Rosewood

Dalbergia stevensonii Honduras Rosewood


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Found in Central America specifically in Belize, Dalbergia stevensonii or commonly known as Honduras Rosewood is a slow growing, medium-sized tree of about 30 m in height with a trunk diameter of up to 90cm in diameter. It has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria that forms nodule on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Wood is used for manufacturing musical instruments, furniture, cabinets, billiard and pool tables, jewellery trays and cases, canes, novelties, etc.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Dalbergia stevensonii is an evergreen Tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Furniture  Wood

Other Uses: The heartwood is pinkish brown to purple with irregular black markings or zones, which are independent of the growth rings - these alternate dark and light bands give the wood an unusual and very attractively figured appearance[ 378 ]. The heartwood is sharply demarcated from the 25 - 50mm wide sapwood, which is white marked with yellow vessel lines when first cut, but turning yellow rather quickly afterwards[ 378 ]. The texture is medium; the grain straight to slightly roey; lustre is low to medium; the wood has no distinctive taste, but fresh heartwood has a rose-like odour which generally dissipates with age. It is this vanishing rose-like odour that is responsible for the name rosewood, not the presence of rose-like flowers as is commonly supposed[ 378 ]. The wood is very hard and heavy; the heartwood is highly durable in contact with the soil, although the sapwood soon decays[ 331 , 378 ]. Hardness makes this timber somewhat difficult to work - it is moderately difficult to saw and machine; it dulls cutting edges more readily than many other woods; ii planes well but must be held securely during planing to prevent vibration; it makes excellent turnings and finishes well, except, for some trouble with very oily specimens, but does not take a high natural polish[ 378 ]. Because of its unusual beauty and excellent, technical properties, Honduras rosewood is highly regarded for a number of specialized uses Manufacturers of musical instruments use the wood for finger boards for banjos, mandolins, and guitars, and for percussion bars in xylophones and other similar instruments. Well-figured wood is used also in guitar bodies, mandolin ribs, harp bodies, piano legs, piano pilasters, veneered piano cases, and organ stops. Some of the best figured wood is made into veneer for furniture, cabinets, carpet sweepers, billiard and pool tables, and bank and store fixtures. Darker and more highly figured wood is often used in brush backs, jewellery trays, and jewellery cases. Rosewood is employed in the manufacture of high-grade carpenter tools, and in other items like canes, moldings, picture frames, and novelties, and is used to some extent for molding, trim and other interior work in boats and shipbuilding. The rosewood from Brazil is used extensively for the handles of knives and small tools. Honduras rosewood should be equally suitable for this use[ 378 ].

Special Uses

Nitrogen Fixer

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

We have no specific information on this species, but members of this genus generally prefer a fertile, loam soil and a position in full sun[ 200 ]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Like many species within the family Fabaceae, once they have been dried for storage the seeds of this species may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing[ K ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Belize; Guatemala

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

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Dalbergia nigraBrazilian RosewoodTree20.0 10-12 MLMHNDM004
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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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Subject : Dalbergia stevensonii  
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