Dalbergia pacifica is a tree that can be 15 metres tall or more[
The tree is highly esteemed locally for its fine wood and quite possibly the wood is exported[
Fine dust arising when the wood is worked may produce a rash or dermatitis, similar to that caused by poison ivy (Rhus radicans)[
Central America - Guatemala.
Dry forests of the Pacific coastal plains at elevations of 300 metres or less[
]. Sometimes growing along roadsides, frequent in some localities, especially in Santa Rosa[
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A plant of lower elevations in the moist tropics[
We have no specific information on this species, but members of this genus generally prefer a fertile, loam soil and a position in full sun[
Closely related to other Dalbergia species that grow in Mesoamerica[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.
The sapwood is dingy white and very sharply defined; the heartwood highly variable in colour but in age usually deep red with black striping or mottling[
]. The wood is hard and heavy, fine and uniform in texture, turns readily, takes a high polish, is very durable, and has an oily feel
In the United States cocobolo wood is much used in the cutlery trade for handles of all kinds of knives[
]. It contains an oily substance that tends to waterproof the wood, makes it easy to polish, and is little affected by repeated immersion in soapy water, except that it becomes darker in colour[
]. It is used also for small tool handles, brush backs, inlaying, musical and scientific instruments, steering wheels, jewellery boxes, rosary beads, and many other purposes[
Like many species within the family Fabaceae, once they have been dried for storage the seeds of this species may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing[
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