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Pau Rosa

Common Name(s): Pau Rosa


Formerly classified in the Swartzia genus along with Katalox and Wamara, Pau Rosa has since been placed into its own genus, Bobgunnia.


Pau Rosa is one of only a handful of woods that have the potential of being nearly rainbow-coloured; its appearance is reminiscent of Tulipwood or Canarywood.

Thicknesses

Subject to availability

4/4
5/4
6/4
7/4
8/4
9/4
10/4
12/4
16/4
20/4
1/2"
3/4"
1"

Thicknesses

Tree Size: 70-90 ft (21-27 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter

Distribution

Small clusters within African rainforests

Scientific Name

Bobgunnia fistuloides, B. madagascariensis (syn. Swartzia fistuloides, S. madagascariensis)

Specific Gravity: Basic 

0.82

Specific Gravity: 12% MC

1.03

Janka Hardness

2,940 lbf (13,080 N)

Colour/Appearance

Heartwood tends to vary in colour from a pink or yellow to a darker reddish brown, with darker brown streaks common. White to pale yellow sapwood clearly demarcated from heartwood. Colour tends to darken with age. Bobgunnia madagascariensis tends to be more on the reddish or orangish side, while B. fistuloides tends to be a more subdued brown.

Grain/Texture

Grain tends to be wavy or interlocked. Uniform medium to coarse texture, with a high natural luster.

Endgrain

Diffuse-porous; large pores in no specific arrangement, few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; heartwood deposits common; narrow rays not visible without lens, spacing fairly close; parenchyma unilateral, lozenge, winged, confluent, and banded.

Rot Resistance

Rated as very durable regarding decay resistance, and is also resistant to insect attack. Pau Rosa has good weathering characteristics in outdoor applications.

Workability

Generally easy to work despite its density, though cutting resistance can be high, and the wood has a tendency to burn while being drilled. Planes fairly well despite having interlocked grain (typically only slightly interlocked). Turns, glues, and finishes well.

Odor

No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity

Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Pau Rosa has been reported to cause skin irritation.

Pricing/Availability

Not too commonly seen in the United States, Pau Rosa should be in the mid to high range for an imported African hardwood. Sizes likely limited to smaller blocks, veneers, and turning squares, with larger lengths of lumber much less common.

Sustainability

This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.
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