What is Patagonian Rosewood?

Curupau Rosewood

If you want the most rigid and densest wood on Earth, you should check out the Patagonian Rosewood. It is, without doubt, a rare and exotic wood species characterized by a combination of exquisite beauty and extreme hardness with a Hardness Janka rating of 3840 lbf. It will not crack up easily and will last longer than other hardwoods. Patagonian Rosewood also gets referred to as Cebil or Curupay. It also has the scientific name Anadenanthera colubrina

Patagonian Rosewood is native to Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brazil and can grow up to 80 feet. It also has a maximum trunk diameter of 3 feet. It has a beautiful appearance and often gets used for making beautiful furniture and home design. It has yellow and pale pink tones contrasting with its dark brown heartwood. 

Properties and Characteristics of Patagonian Rosewood

Patagonian Rosewood is a rare wood species. So, if you intend to use this wood for your woodworking projects, it will help to know the following succinct characteristics and properties of this wood to see if it is best suited for your projects:

Colors and Appearance

Patagonian Rosewood has a heartwood characterized by a medium to pale reddish brown hue. It often has black to darker brown streaks throughout its wood. Besides, it tends to darken over time. Its sapwood, however, has a pale pinkish to yellow-brown tone. It is sensitive to light and darkens over time upon constant exposure to sunlight. 

Grain and Texture

Patagonian Rosewood features irregular or interlocking grains. It has a delicate and uniform texture that has a natural sheen. 

Rot Resistance

Patagonian Rosewood is very durable and highly resistant to termite attacks. Nevertheless, it is more vulnerable to insect attacks.  


It has dimensional stability when adequately dried. Yet, its shrinkage level is 8.4% tangentially and 4.8% radially. 

Workability Level of Patagonian Rosewood

Because of its high Janka Hardness rating, you can expect this wood to be tough to work with. Besides, it has irregular and interlocking grains, making it difficult to cut and shape. It also has a noticeable blunting effect on cutters and blades. Nevertheless, it turns well. But because of its extreme density, it is hard to whip into shape and requires cutting at 10° to 15° angles to prevent tearing this wood. 

With a bit of sanding, Patagonian Rosewood would have a glass-like smoothness, especially if you apply lacquer as a topcoat. It is similar to Bloodwood, which is hard to work with likewise. Besides, its interlocking grains make it challenging to plane. Without extra care, you might chip or tear it out. Nevertheless, if you take extra care when cutting this wood, you can transform it into an excellent and remarkable woodworking piece.

Frequently Asked Questions on Patagonian Rosewood

Aside from knowing the properties and characteristics of Patagonian Rosewood, it will also help if you are cognizant of the following FAQs about this wood, for they may also be the questions playing on in your mind:

Is the Use of Patagonian Rosewood Sustainable?

Patagonian Rosewood is a rare exotic hardwood that is difficult to get a hand on. You are fortunate if you ever get a chance to work with this wood. Because of its rarity and extreme density, it is also a highly coveted exotic wood. So, it commands a high price that would surely enthuse loggers to over-log this wood species. 

Nevertheless, there is a large number of Patagonian Rosewoods in South America. So, it is not yet included in the list of endangered wood species. But since it is costly, cutting Patagonian Rosewood trees would be very lucrative and might be very tempting for illegal loggers to engage in. So, if no strict policies are in place, soon, we may find this wood included in the list of endangered wood species.


Patagonian Rosewood is indeed the hardest commercially available wood species worldwide. It has an excellent Hardness rating of 3,840 Jankas, which is way beyond the Janka Hardness ratings of many commercial hardwoods. As such, it is an incredible wood species you seldom find in the market today.

If you are a beginner in woodworking, it will be best not to aspire to have this wood for your initial woodworking projects. Besides, experts would not recommend this wood for your initial projects.

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