pau_brasil Pau-Brasil (Caesalpinia echinata) is a species of Brazilian timber tree and may reach up to 15 meters in height. Common names include Arabutã, Ibirapiranga , Ibirapitanga ,Ibirapitá, Orabutã , Pau-de-pernambuco, Pau-de-tinta , Pau-rosado. This plant has a dense, orange-red heartwood that takes a high shine, and it is the premier wood used for making bows for stringed instruments.

When Portuguese explorers found these trees on the coast of South America, they used the name pau-brasil to describe them. Pau is Portuguese for “stick” (or, by metonymy, “wood” in general), and brasil is said to have come from brasa, Portuguese for “ember”, meaning “emberlike”. The wood of this tree has a deep red hue, which may be why it received this name. Pau-Brasil trees were such a large part of the exports and economy of the land that the country which sprang up in this part of the world now called Brazil.


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