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Exotic Wood Burl 




  • Also Known As : Pernambuco (Chaesalpina echinata), Brasilwood, Pau brasil
  • Scientific Name:  Guilandina echinata
  • Source:  South America, including Brazil, Sao Paulo, Pernambuco, Riode Janeiro
  • Color: Light color sapwood, Orange red heartwood oxidizing to reddish brown with age
  • Pattern:  Strait, fine grains
  • Similar to: Pernambuco
  • Uses: dye making, gunstocks, inlay, violin bows, wood turning


Brazilwood is a name associated with several varieties of dye wood located in South America, especially in and around Brazil.  Pernambuco or Brazilwood as it is often called actually gave Brazil its name. 

Pernambuco is a very rare wood that is also called Brazilwood, but has a different scientific name Chaesalpina echinata, and is prized by bowmakers for its strength and durability.  Lesser quality bows are often made of Brazilwood, thus although Brazilwood and Pernambuco are often used interchangeably, in the bowmaking business, these terms denote two distinctly different grades of wood. 

The wood is noted for its reddish and purplish red hue which has over the centuries provided its harvesters with desirable dyes.


Pernambuco has for centuries been used as a dye and was coveted by Europeans in the 16th, 17th and 18th century to dye cloth and as a cosmetic.  The wood is extremely durable and fine grained and thus is well suited for a wide range of wood crafting including cabinetry, wood turning, inlays, as well as gunstocks. 

Most notably Pernambuco is the most desired wood for violin bows and other musical instruments.  Pernambuco is the only known wood that can provide the qualities required to make fine bows for instruments such as the cello, viola, bass, fiddle and violin.  Due to the necessity of only the choicest trees to create a fine bow, coupled with the decline in this particular species of Brazilwood, bow makers have become concerned about finding ample supply of this cherished wood.  This has brought about the formation of the IPCI or International Pernambuco Conservation Initiative which is helping establish and conserve this prized exotic wood.


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