Pau Ferro

Common Name(s): Pau Rosa

Scientific Name: Bobgunnia fistuloides, B. madagascariensis
(syn. Swartzia fistuloides, S. madagascariensis)

Distribution: Small clusters within African rainforests

Tree Size: 70-90 ft (21-27 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 64 lbs/ft3 (1,030 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .82, 1.03

Janka Hardness: 2,940 lbf (13,080 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 24,100 lbf/in2 (166.2 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 2,480,000 lbf/in2 (17.10 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 13,450 lbf/in2 (92.8 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.2%, Tangential: 6.0%, Volumetric: 10.7%, T/R Ratio: 1.4

Color/Appearance: Heartwood tends to vary in color from a pink or yellow to a darker reddish brown, with darker brown streaks common. White to pale yellow sapwood clearly demarcated from heartwood. Color tends to darken with age. Bobgunnia madagascariensis tends to be more on the reddish or orangish side, while B. fistuloides tends to be a more subdued brown.

Grain/Texture: Grain tends to be wavy or interlocked. Uniform medium to coarse texture, with a high natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; large pores in no specific arrangement, few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; heartwood deposits common; narrow rays not visible without lens, spacing fairly close; parenchyma unilateral, lozenge, winged, confluent, and banded.

Rot Resistance: Rated as very durable regarding decay resistance, and is also resistant to insect attack. Pau Rosa has good weathering characteristics in outdoor applications.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Common Uses: Veneer, carvings, furniture, turned objects, and other small, specialty wood items.

Comments: Formerly classified in the Swartzia genus along with Katalox and Wamara, Pau Rosa has since been placed into its own genus, Bobgunnia.

Pau Rosa is one of only a handful of woods that have the potential of being nearly rainbow-colored; its appearance is reminiscent of Tulipwood or Canarywood.