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PAU ROSA

botanical name unknown

There are at least a dozen species from 8 genera that have pau rosa as all or part of one or more of their common names and I have no idea which of them are represented on this page. Native areas of growth include at least South America, Africa, and parts of Asia for the various species. Clearly the name "pau rosa" is not terribly helpful, but it is a widely used one even if vague about species.

"pau rosa" is Portugese for "rosewood" but only a few of the species that use the name pau rosa are of the genus Dalbergia (the true rosewoods) and one of those is Dalbergia frutescenss which is MUCH more commonly known as Brazilian tulipwood. Clearly there is a LOT of room for confusion with this name.

Two species that are definitlely associated with the common name pau rosa are Bobgunnia fistuloides (synonym Swartzia fistuloides) and Bobgunnia madagascariensis (synonym Swartzia madagascariensis)



my samples:


both sides of a sample plank of pau rosa / Swartzia fistuloides --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The very slightly richer color on the unlabeled side is due to my having sanded it down to 240 grit (the labeled side is raw).


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of snake bean / Swartzia madagascariensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Swartzia madagascariensis is a synonym for Bobgunnia madagascariensis which does have the common name snake bean but is more commonly called pau rosa.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of snake bean / Swartzia madagascariensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Swartzia madagascariensis is a synonym for Bobgunnia madagascariensis which does have the common name snake bean but is more commonly called pau rosa.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


a plank pic contributed to the site by John Fuher, whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Thanks to John's excellent photography, HUGE enlargements are present for both this and the end grain shots directly below. These pics were taken outside in natural light and had to be color-corrected and I did not see the plank so can't absolutely guarantee the color-correctness of these pics.


two end grain shots of the same plank as directly above


pau rosa veneer pics contributed by Danny Tjan, whom I thank for these and other contributions to the site.


a bowl turned by John from the other half of the plank directly above. As I told John, had I seen this bowl with no informaion, I would have readily bet money that it is pau ferro (Bolivian rosewood) which, as you'll see from the pics on that page of this site, look exactly like this. John tells me that these bowl pics were color corrected and are quite accurate. HUGE enlargement are present.



web pics:


both sides and a closeup of a plank


plank and closeup


planks listed as just "pau rosa"


two views of the same large plank


plank listed as pau rosa / Machaerium firmum


planks listed as pau rosa / Swartzia fistuloides


planks listed as pau rosa / Swartzia madagascarensis


pair of planks a closeup, listed as pau rosa / Swartzia madagascarensis


bookmatched plank pairs listed as pau rosa / Swartzia madagascarensis


These two plank pics and the pair directly above these are of of recently slabbed planks and were provided by Patrick Dean, whom I thank for these excellent pics. Both levels of enlargement are provided, so you can really see the grain.


scales


veneer


pen blanks that have been oiled and waxed and that are from a vendor who makes most of her woods look purple regardless of the actual color of the wood.


pen blanks listed as pau rosa / Swartzia fistuloides


pen blanks listed as just pau rosa


turning stock listed as pau rosa / Swartzia fistuloides


turning stock just listed as pau rosa


heavily waxed turning block



these are from the BogusColorVendor so the colors are suspect


planks


plank and closeup


plank and closeup --- I'm confident that the colors on this one are not "suspect" but just flat out fradulent, like many of the pics posted by that vendor


more planks by that vendor





ring listed as pau rosa


bowl listed as pau rosa


10" diameter shallow bowl by Steve Earis (with big enlargements available that REALLY show the grain nicely) and the blank from which it was turned. Steve has this as pau rosa but without any botanical designation.