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Aniba rosaeodora - Ducke

Common Name Brazilian Rosewood, Rosewood-oil tree
Family Lauraceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats An understorey tree in lowland to submontane, non-seasonal, rainforest, especially on clay soils, developing well in forest clearings[ 238 , 349 ]. Also recorded from areas of mountain savannah forest at elevations up to 1,280 metres[ 349 ].
Range Northern S. America - northern Brazil, Surinam, French Guiana.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Aniba rosaeodora Brazilian Rosewood, Rosewood-oil tree

Aniba rosaeodora Brazilian Rosewood, Rosewood-oil tree


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Brazilian Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) is an endangered species that grows in parts of the tropical rainforest of South America. It is a fragrant evergreen tree with a narrow, ellipsoid crown and grows up to 30 m in height and 2 m in diameter. The leaves are leathery and narrowly oval in shape. The dull red flowers group together. The fruit is a drupe. It is known as a great source of rosewood oil, an essential oil which is commercially used especially in perfume and baked goods. However, extraction process requires taking down the whole tree from the wild. The essential oil, like the bark, is used as well as treatment for acne, coughs, colds, fevers, headaches, infections, dermatitis, frigidity, nausea, nervous tension, and wounds. It is also used in skin care. The wood is used for furniture, boat or canoe, flooring, and tool handles among others. Other Names: Cara-cara, Pau rosa, Pala rosa.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Aniba rosaeodora is an evergreen Tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 15 m (49ft).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10 and is frost tender.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Aniba duckei Kosterm.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Oil
Edible Uses: Oil

The essential oil from the wood is used as a flavouring in commercial foods such as confectionary, chewing gum, baked goods and frozen desserts[ 238 , 301 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

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Analgesic  Antibacterial  Anticonvulsant  Antidepressant  Antidermatosic  Antiseptic  Aphrodisiac  Deodorant  
Skin  Stimulant  Tonic

The bark and the essential oil obtained from the wood are analgesic, antibacterial, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, antimicrobial, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, deodorant, stimulant and tonic[ 318 ]. They are used in the treatment of acne, colds, coughs, dermatitis, fevers, frigidity, headaches, infections, nausea, nervous tension, skin care and wounds[ 318 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

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Other Uses

Deodorant  Essential  Oil  Pioneer  Soap  Wood

Other uses rating: High (4/5). Agroforestry Uses: A pioneer species, growing well in open spaces[ 349 ]. Other Uses The wood contains a volatile essential oil[ 46 ]. It is used in perfumery[ 46 ]. Rosewood oil contains high concentrations of linalool, which can be transformed into a number of derivatives for the flavour and fragrances industry[ 349 ]. The oil has for a long time been used in the preparation of more expensive perfumes and at one time in fragrant soaps[ 349 ]. The lustrous yellow wood is used for making chests and drawers[ 46 ]. The timber is also of some commercial value in furniture-making, turnery, boat or canoe building, millwork, flooring, plywood, veneer and the making of agricultural implements and tool handles[ 349 ].

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A plant of lowland to medium elevations in the moist tropics. A light-demanding species, even when young[ 349 ]. Found mainly on clay soils in the wild[ 349 ]. When the essential oil is wanted, the tree is harvested when 10 - 15 years old and chipped for steam distillation[ 238 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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The PFAF Bookshop

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a lightly shaded position in a seedbed or in individual containers. The seed needs light to germinate[ 238 , 420 ]. A low germination rate can usually be expected, with the seed sprouting within 35 - 56 days[ 420 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Brazilian Rosewood, Rosewood-oil tree. Other Names: Cara-cara, Pau rosa, Pala rosa.

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Found In: Amazon, Brazil, Guiana, Guyana, Mexico, North America, South America, Suriname, Venezuela.

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.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Endangered

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

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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