Cocobolo wood is an exotic wood of great beauty, resistant and valuable. It is very popular due to its interesting and varied colors.

Native to Central America, it is also known as Cocobola, Palisandro Cocobolo or Palosanto de Nicaragua. It is a tree that although it can reach 25 meters, it rarely reaches. Which limits the size and length of the available wood.

Scientific name: Dalbergia retusa.

Characteristics of Cocobolo Wood

Color: It is one of the characteristics that make this single wood. Its colors range from yellow, orange, red or brown, to violet or even black tones. Freshly cut, the wood becomes lighter, with time it gets darker. It has an interesting natural glow.

Fiber: Straight and occasionally interlaced.

Grain: Thin and uniform.

Density: It is a very dense wood, approximately 1095 kg / m³.

Toughness: Difficult.

Dimensional stability:

  • Volumetric contraction coefficient: –

Mechanical properties:

  • Compressive strength: 830 kg / cmtwo
  • Resistance to static bending: – kg / cmtwo
  • Modulus of elasticity: 190,000 kg / cmtwo

Durability: It’s a kind very durable, even against insects. Its natural oils improve resistance to moisture


  • Sawn. Easy, except for the wear of the saws.
  • Brushed. Problems if fiber is intertwined.
  • Glued. Difficult due to the presence of natural oils.
  • Nailed / screwed. Needs pre-drilling due to hardness and density.
  • Finish. Problematic. Special attention must be paid to the sealing of the wood to avoid that when natural oils appear, they do not cause fences.
  • May cause allergic reactions: skin, eye and respiratory tract irritation.

It is a protected species and included in the agreement CITES. Thus, their marketing is controlled, although unfortunately there is contraband. Therefore, the cocobolo price is high.

rosewood cocobolo

Cocobolo usa

  • Small wooden items, such as handles, butts, pens, pool cues, etc.
  • Scale.
  • Spinning.
  • Manufacture of musical instruments. Mainly string instruments, such as guitars and basses, and also wind instruments.
  • Manufacture of quality furniture and joinery. It is amazing how this wood has been a sign of status in some areas, through the use of cocobolo offices and desks. These types of items tend to be prohibitively priced.
  • Given the difficulty and the high price of this wood, it is customary to use or restore old furniture. Although trade in that can also be controlled.