Scientific Name: Metopium brownei
Also known as: Caribbean Rosewood, Black Poisonwood, Chechem
Origin: Central America, Caribbean Islands
Traditional Uses: Fine Furniture; Cabinetry; Turnery; Boat Decking; Humidors; Jewelry Boxes

CHECHENChechen is frequently referred to as “Caribbean Rosewood” due to the regal color tone and pattern that this timber provides. Heartwood ranges from amber to dark chocolate, oftentimes with dark and light brown streaks. The sapwood has a tanned yellow appearance. This is a very popular wood for fine furniture! Local loggers also refer to Chechen as “black poisonwood” due to the skin irritation they experience when getting fresh sap on their bare skin. Once cut and dried the wood is safe to work with.

Chechen provides the artisan craftsman a diverse timber to work with. It responds well to sharp tools, readily accepts glues, and can be polished to a fine, glossy finish. Chechen is slightly oily and extremely rot resistant. The tight, two toned grain pattern is similar to what is found in the rosewoods. As a precaution, it is recommended that a dust mask, gloves and long sleeves should always be worn when working with this particular wood.

Tone Qualities: Chechen is reported to have good tone qualities.


Specific Gravity: 0.82
Hardness: 2200 Janka
Density: 69 pcf
Tangential Movement: 6%
Radial Movement: 4%
Volumetric Shrinkage: 10%
Durability: Very Good

Fine Examples of Chechen Creations: Note: links may take you to 3rd party Websites