This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
One of the American journals says that "it has puzzled many people to decide why the dark wood so highly valued for furniture should be called rosewood. It color certainly does not look much like a rose, so we must look for some other reason. Upon asking, we learn that when the tree is first cut the fresh wood possesses a very strong rose-like fragrance, hence the name. There are half a dozen or more kinds of rosewood trees. The varieties are found in South America and in the East Indies and neighboring islands. Sometimes the trees grow so large that planks 4 feet broad and 10 feet in length can be cut from them. These broad planks are principally used to make the tops to piano-fortes. When growing in the forest the rosewood tree is remarkable for its beauty; but such is its value in manufactures as an ornamental wood, that some of the forests where it once grew abundantly now have scarcely a single specimen. In Madras, the government has prudently had great plantations of this tree set out in order to keep up the supply." The rosewood is Physocalymna floribunda, and it is entitled to the specific name from the excessive number of its red flowers, which, when fully expanded, render it a splendid object. - Journal of Horticulture.