“Granadillo” is the common name most frequently applied to the quality hardwood that comes from several species within the Platymiscium genus. While there are 19 different types of Platymiscium, the 3 most prominent ones on the market are Platymiscium yacatanum, Platymiscium pinnatum and Platymiscium pleiostchyum. Each of these have overlapping growing regions and offer a slightly different experience. All are quality hardwood providing exceptional character, color and tonality.
Granadillo is prized for its reddish brown coloring that routinely includes blacks, violets and oranges mixed in; it has proven itself time and again as a premiere choice for both musical instruments and furniture alike. Granadillo responds very well to turning and emits a caramel like scent when worked. It is also an excellent alternative to cocobolo for those who do not wish to deal with the excessive oil and potential allergic reactions that true rosewoods sometimes induce. Typical straight grain patterns with some irregularity, it is also known to have frequent figuring. As with all Platymiscium species, the heartwood is also extremely resistant to fungi and termite attack, which is due to its content of secondary metabolites.
P. yucatanum: Granadillo that is indigenous to the Yucatan peninsula of southern Mexico, Belize and northern Guatemala and is known for more saturated color tones and frequent figuring in the logs. Found to be slightly denser than the other granadillo species.
P. pinnatum: Granadillo that is most common on today’s market due to its abundance and wide availability. Sometimes misrepresented as “Amazon Rosewood”, it is not a true rosewood but rather is a Platymiscium that is indigenous from the amazon basin up thru to the lower portion of Central America. On average, this granadillo carries more of a reddish tone throughout the logs.
P. pleiostachyum: Granadillo that carries the reputation of being the best quality in the Platymiscium genus. Unfortunately, this reputation as also caused pleiostachyum to be severely exploited over the last few decades and consequently is now listed as endangered in the IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species including being CITES Appendix 2 Restricted. Due to this CITES status, we do not sale or ship this species outside the United States. If you’re looking for the absolute best in granadillo material, then this is it. Originally indigenous to Costa Rica, it is now virtually extinct in this country due to illegal logging and exploitation. It can still be found in El Salvador and Nicaragua and legally sourced from these countries.
In South America, it is highly regarded as the best tonewood choice for marimba and xylophone bones and is often referenced as “La Madera Que Canta” (“wood that sings”). Granadillo has been said to have a ringing, bright tap tone and is gaining popularity amongst American instrument makers.