I didn’t realize there was going to be a Part 2 to the story, but we’ve got major wood drama! Stop the presses!
I asked a pen turner friend to make me a pen out of a chunk of cocobolo burl. When he began slicing it up, he grew suspicious and sent off a sample to a Dendrologist at an SEC university. The scientist did his thing, doing cellular analysis, burn tests, and other mystical incantations, and concluded that the wood is definitely NOT cocobolo burl. He believes it is actually dalbergia cochinchinensis, sometimes called Siamese Rosewood, Thailand Rosewood, Tracwood, or Flamewood. It’s much harder to determine species with a piece of burl, since the grain patterns in burl are totally different than they are in traditional wood.