Rosewood (Pterocarpus indicus) is a major commercial species of the Solomon Islands. Small to medium sized trees are found throughout the lowland forests of the South West Pacific region, it attains large commercial proportions in the Solomon Islands and has been heavily exploited in the past.
- One of the finest furniture and cabinet woods on world markets due to its excellent working and finishing properties as well as its low shrinkage and stability in-service.
- Many trees are of poor form, having fluted, twisted or crooked boles. This affects sawn recovery and selling price. The wood, when left lying in water, turns the water an iridescent blue. The wood can vary in density and hardness. The darker coloured (reddish) woods are much denser and stronger than the paler coloured yellowish-brown woods.
- Rosewood produces a beautifully figured wood enhanced by the presence of 'ripple-marks' and its ring-porous wood structure. The timber varies in colour from yellowish-brown to golden-brown through to redbrown or sometimes a blood red colour. The grain is usually interlocked but not severely so; sometimes wavy. Produces a ribbon or banded figure on quarter-sawn faces and a cathedral-like figure on back-sawn faces. It has a pleasant, persistent, fragrant odour.
- The timber seasons readily and well. It is a remarkably stable timber with very low shrinkage and very little movement when inservice.
- Suitable for high quality furniture and cabinet work. Also suitable for flooring, finely turned articles, gun stocks, rifle butts and decorative sliced veneer. It is prized for carving local artefacts and in making ceremonial hand drums. It has good acoustic and tonal qualities, making it suitable for musical instruments.