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January 2004 - Cocobolo is found in limited quantities in the Pacific regions of Central America, from Panama to southwestern Mexico. It usually grows in the drier uplands. The color of the heartwood varies when freshly-cut, and is described as a rainbow-hued. Exposure is reported to darken the lighter colors and merges them with the darker colors. The wood becomes deep red with irregular markings of purple or black and various colors of the rainbow. The wood has an odor, which has been described as slightly pungent and mildly fragrant becomes noticeable when the wood is being machined. There is no characteristic taste. Cocobolo is one of the primary species for the manufacture of cutlery, especially for knife handles because of its attractive color, texture, and waterproof characteristics.