Dalbergia greveana| Tonewood Profile | ”Madagascan Rosewood”
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Madagascan Rosewood sold in the US and EU market consistents of a groups of true rosewoods found in Madagascar. The timbers are all rather similar but some have a distinct geographical distribution and ecolog. I hope to cover most of the common species.
Dalbergia grevaena is widespread over western Madagascar where it is an endemic, deciduous tree 20m tall, 50cm in diameter occuring in dry forest and woodland up to 800 m in altitude.
According to Prota, a not for profit foundation dedicated to gathering information on the flora of Tropical Africa, Dalbergia greveana used to represent the bulk of timber exports from western Madagascar.
Compared to other true rosewood species [Dalbergia] from Madagascar, Dalbergia greveana appears to have poor natural regeneration. Prota states “Dalbergia greveana seems to be overexploited, and may soon disappear from the timber market because of stand depletion”.
It has a Janka rating of around 13,350 N and a specific gravity of 1.08. It has a propensity for checking and splitting and needs care when air dried. However this timber is very stable once dry.
As a tonewood…
I would classify this wood as providing a dark and bell-like overtone content with a slow response.
Very limited in larger sizes.
Similar woods/ Alternatives
Dalbergia humbertii resembles Dalbergia greveana and is mainly found in the Ankarana Massif in northern Madagascar, and yields a similar quality rosewood.
Dalbergia suaresensis Baill. also resembles Dalbergia greveana, and is restricted to the area around Antsiranana in northern Madagascar. The wood has traditionally benn used in cabinet making. Both of these are classified as endangered in the IUCN Red list.
US deparment of agriculture- topical timbers of the world.
Bolza, E. & Keating, W.G., 1972. African timbers: the properties, uses and characteristics of 700 species. Division of Building Research, CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia. 710 pp.
Du Puy, D.J. et al. The Leguminosae of Madagascar. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom, 2002.
Sanda, F. Conservation et valorisation des Dalbergia (Fabaceae) de Madagascar par micro propagation in-vitro et recherché d’activité anti-microbienne. Mémoire pour l’obtention du diplôme d’étude approfondie, Département de Biologie et Ecologie végétale, Faculté des Sciences, Université d’Antananarivo, Madagascar. 2004
Takahashi, A. Compilation of data on the mechanical properties of foreign woods (part 3) Africa. Shimane University, Matsue, Japan. 1978
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