Chechen Species Guide
 Common Name This wood is also commonly called as Chechen, Chechem, Black Poisonwood, and Caribbean Rosewood. Each of these names is used for a reason. Chechen is frequently referred to as “Caribbean Rosewood” due to the regal color tone and pattern that this timber provides. It is known as Black poisonwood because it is said that working with this wood is dangerous. While some have claimed to have adverse reactions from working with it, those who work with it regularly 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.
Scientific Name Metopium brownei
Distribution It is found in the Dominican RepublicCubaJamaica, northern GuatemalaBelizeBonaireCuracaoAruba(rare), and from the Yucatán to Veracruz in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and southeastern Mexico.
Tree Size This tree can grow up to a height of 50-115 ft (15-35 m) tall, with a trunk diameter of about 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m).
Dried Weight ( average ) 62 lbs/ft3 (990 kg/m3).
Specific Gravity .78, .99
Janka Hardness 2,250 lbf (10,010 N)


Chechen is additionally called Black poisonwood or Caribbean rosewood. it is not a real Rosewood however will have an identical two-toned grain pattern and high polish that is significantly like a true genus Dalbergia Rosewood. This species is employed for a piece of furniture, cabinets, jewelry boxes, and humidors likewise as several different creative projects. colors vary from brown, pink, red, golden, and black all embedded with a shimmering iridescence.

The Black poisonwood is seen growing in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica, northern Guatemala, Belize, Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba(rare), and from the Yucatan to Veracruz in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and southeastern Mexico.

Its alternate name, Black Poisonwood, comes from its toxic sap, which turns black and causes severe skin reactions almost like poison ivy—and each is classified within the same family: Anacardiaceæ. However, the wood itself is safe to handle, although there are some allergenic reactions related to the wood dust.

Chechen has endured a stigma that is a commonly held false belief — one powerful enough to come up with its nickname, “Black Poisonwood” — that operating with this wood is dangerous. whereas some have claimed to own adverse reactions from working with it, those that work with it on an everyday basis state that the opposite is true. it is the harvested tree’s bark that is toxic to the bit (essentially, in the same method as Poison Ivy); once the lumber has been processed, there are not any harmful effects from handling the resawn boards.

Aesthetic qualities, as well as weight and density, of the wood, will vary greatly, depending on the precise environmental conditions of its growth.

Because of its density, natural luster, and exquisite coloration, Chechen is usually referred to as Caribbean Rosewood, although it is not a real rosewood within the rosid dicot genus.

This wood is rated as being sturdy, and moderately immune to the attack of most insects and termites. though severe reactions are quite uncommon, Chechen has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually, commonest reactions merely include eye and skin irritation. so proper kinds of instrumentality and facilities ought to be accustomed to guaranteeing safety. As a precaution, it's counseled that a mud mask, gloves, and long sleeves should be worn once operating with this specific wood.


Color and Appearance: The heartwood color of this wood is extremely varied, with red, orange, and brown contrasted with darker stripes of achromatic brown. Color tends to shift to a darker reddish-brown with age and exposure to daylight. there is pale yellow sapwood that is present and differentiated from the heartwood.

Grain and Texture: The grain is typically straight, however perhaps wild or interlocked. while working in areas wherever the grain patterns are interlocked care should be taken as these areas are vulnerable to tear-outs while working. With a regular medium to fine texture and sensible natural luster. Diffuse-porous; medium to giant pores in no specific arrangement; solitary and radial multiples of 2-4; tyloses and alternative wood deposits abundant; growth rings indistinct; rays not visible while not lens; parenchyma vasicentric, and alary (lozenge).

Workability: This wood is fairly simple to work, however, tearout might occur when machining pieces with interlocked grain. This wood tends to glue and responds to stains and finishes fairly well, though as a result of its density and tendency to separate, nails and screws ought to be pre-bored.

Odor: This wood doesn't turn out any characteristic odor either while harvesting or while operating with this wood.

Availability: Generally on the market as lumber, though turning blanks and skinny craft lumber also are sold-out. Chechen is touted as an inexpensive substitute for more expensive tropical woods, and costs ought to be moderate for an imported hardwood. This wood species isn't listed within the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of vulnerable species.

Common Uses: This wood is commonly used for veneer, furniture, cabinetry, flooring, turned objects, and small specialty wood items.

Here is few images of finished products

Chechen Bowl
Chechen miniature hollow
Chechen Bowl
Chechen Turning Wood Blanks