Common Name: Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian rosewood is an evergreen tree with a narrow, ellipsoid crown; it can grow 20 - 25 metres tall[
]. The straight, cylindrical bole is 30 - 50cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild, it yields a valuable timber as well as an essential oil that is much used in perfumery. In addition, it is a popular medicinal plant for the local population.
The tree is being heavily exploited for the essential oil contained in its wood - the whole tree is destroyed by the extraction process[
]. This is proving environmentally damaging to the area of the Amazon where it is native[
]. The tree is listed as endangered in the IUCN Red List (2009)[
Northern S. America - northern Brazil, Surinam, French Guiana.
An understorey tree in lowland to submontane, non-seasonal, rainforest, especially on clay soils, developing well in forest clearings[
]. Also recorded from areas of mountain savannah forest at elevations up to 1,280 metres[
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A plant of lowland to medium elevations in the moist tropics.
A light-demanding species, even when young[
]. Found mainly on clay soils in the wild[
When the essential oil is wanted, the tree is harvested when 10 - 15 years old and chipped for steam distillation[
The essential oil from the wood is used as a flavouring in commercial foods such as confectionary, chewing gum, baked goods and frozen desserts[
The bark and the essential oil obtained from the wood are analgesic, antibacterial, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, antimicrobial, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, deodorant, stimulant and tonic[
They are used in the treatment of acne, colds, coughs, dermatitis, fevers, frigidity, headaches, infections, nausea, nervous tension, skin care and wounds[
A pioneer species, growing well in open spaces[
The wood contains a volatile essential oil[
]. It is used in perfumery[
]. Rosewood oil contains high concentrations of linalool, which can be transformed into a number of derivatives for the flavour and fragrances industry[
]. The oil has for a long time been used in the preparation of more expensive perfumes and at one time in fragrant soaps[
The lustrous yellow wood is used for making chests and drawers[
]. 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[
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[
]. A low germination rate can usually be expected, with the seed sprouting within 35 - 56 days[
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