Geographic Distribution:

The wood commonly known and sold as Queenwood is a member of the Swartzia genus with no species specified.  Other familiar members of the Swartzia genus include: Katalox and Wamara.  I’ll have more to say about Katalox soon.

Queenwood is harvested in Peru and is a relatively new wood in the North American marketplace.

General Characteristics:

The heartwood of Queenwood varies widely in color but it is generally a light reddish brown with sections of darker purplish brown, as well as darker black streaks and veins throughout. the sapwood of Queenwood is pale grayish brown to cream color, and is sharply demarcated from the heartwood.

Queenwood features a fine even texture with a good natural luster when properly surfaced.

Working Characteristics:

Queenwood is reported to be easily worked and it is noted to turn well.  Green Queenwood is prone to end checking during drying.

Pricing and Availability:

Queenwood is a recent commercial species and is only occasionally exported from Peru.  Turning blanks and small craft lumber are the most common forms available.  Expect prices to be in the mid range for an imported hardwood.

In this blog, I almost always recommend several vendors with whom I have done considerable business and in whom I have great confidence.  These vendors are: West Penn Hardwoods, Bell Forest Products, NC Wood, WoodTurningz, Amazon Exotic Hardwoods, Griffin Exotic Wood, Exotic Woods USA, Got Wood?, and Wood Turning Blanks 4U.

At this time, none of my favored vendors are offering Queenwood although I obtained my blank from West Penn Hardwoods some years ago.

Woodfinder is an excellent website that is dedicated to advertising wood dealers.  In your search for Queenwood this can be an invaluable resource provided you use multiple search terms to capture all the possible listings.  I can’t speak to the quality of any of the listed dealers, but Woodfinder does have the advantage of allowing searches to be performed based on location which might allow an interested buyer to visit a listed wood dealer in person to hand pick pieces at a comfortable price.

A significant problem with using Woodfinder is that many vendors are listed for woods that, upon further investigation, they do not offer.  I don’t know if perhaps once they did and they didn’t update their listings or if some vendors use a standardized list of woods that include most everything conceivable with the idea that once you land on their page you will find something you want to buy even if you didn’t know it beforehand.  It happens to me all the time!

Common Uses:

Queenwood is most commonly used for turned objects, and other small specialty wood items.


Queenwood is NOT listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendices nor is it listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List.

To the best of my knowledge, the United States government does not place any restrictions on Queenwood.

I realize that inherent in working with wood is the killing of a part of the natural world that may be slow to return and if I become deeply concerned about this fact, I will have to find a new hobby.  I hope that such a time does not come to pass or at least not any time soon.  In part because I am concerned about legally and responsibly obtained wood, I am reluctant to buy from sellers outside of well-established and known vendors.  I am highly unlikely, for example, to purchase any wood from auction sites, such as Ebay, because of uncertain sourcing and documentation, as well as the potential, even likelihood, of material being misidentified in order to achieve a higher selling price.