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Species Description: Wood Species

Although not a true Dalbergia rosewood, this beautiful, quite versatile wood holds many similarities. Chechen can be visually stunning — with green, red, orange and gold hues (and brown & black lines) adorning its luxurious medium-brown bases, and occasional figuring which can range from subtle to quite dramatic. The wood has become increasingly more popular with veneer manufacturers, furniture craftsmen and guitar luthiers over the course of the last two decades, as it is a very durable, easy-to-work and -finish wood that is moderately priced for an exotic import.


Sustainability: This species is not currently listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Veneer, furniture, cabinetry, flooring, musical instruments, turned objects, and small specialty wood items.

Comments: Chechen has endured a stigma which is actually a commonly held fallacy — one powerful enough to generate its nickname, “Black Poisonwood” — that working with this wood is dangerous. While some have claimed to have adverse reactions from working with it, those who work with it on a regular basis state that the opposite is true. It is the harvested tree’s bark which is poisonous to the touch (essentially, in the same way as Poison Ivy); once the lumber has been processed, there are no harmful effects from handling the resawn boards.

Aesthetic qualities, as well as weight and density, can vary greatly, depending on the specific environmental conditions of its growth.


Available on backorder

Botanical Name

Metopium brownei

Other Names

Black Poisonwood, Caribbean Rosewood, Che Chen

Main Color Group

Medium Brown

Grain Pattern




Avg Dry Weight - LB/FT3


Avg Dry Weight - KG/M3


Janka Hardness - LBF


Janka Hardness - Newtons



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