Color/Appearance:Typically a cinnamon brown, heartwood color can be highly variable, ranging from a light brown to a deep, russet brown. Grain tends to be somewhat bland, but darker streaks or swirled grain is occasionally present. Sharply demarcated sapwood is pale yellow. Overall appearance is very similar toHonduran Rosewood.
Grain/Texture:Grain is straight to interlocked. With a medium texture to fine texture, with large open pores, giving it a somewhat uneven feel. Moderate natural luster.
Endgrain:Diffuse-porous or semi-diffuse porous; medium to very large pores in no specific arrangement, very few to few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; heartwood deposits (reddish brown) occasionally present; growth rings usually distinct due to increased pore size and frequency in earlywood; narrow rays not visible without lens, spacing fairly close to close; parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates, vasicentric, winged, and banded.
Workability:Overall easier to work than other rosewoods, most likely on account of its lower density. Yucatan Rosewood also seems to have a lower oil content than other oily Dalbergia rosewoods, so gluing and finishing properties are somewhat better. Turns well and takes a nice polish.
Odor:Unlike other rosewoods, Yucatan Rosewood has little to no scent while being worked.
Allergies/Toxicity:Yucatan Rosewood is claimed to have a decreased occurrence of adverse health effects and allergic reactions. Its lack of odor would suggest the wood to be of a different chemistry than other Dalbergia species. See the articlesWood Allergies and ToxicityandWood Dust Safetyfor more information.
Pricing/Availability:Prices are in the low to mid range for an imported tropical species. Yucatan Rosewood is certainly much cheaper than most other Dalbergia species such asCocoboloorKingwood. At the time of this writing, (2011), Yucatan Rosewood is fairly new to the mainstream wood market, so it’s hard to tell if prices will remain stable, or increase due to over-harvesting—as is the unfortunate case with so many species within the genus. It is usually sold in the form of turning wood, or in thin or small stock sizes.