|Dalbergia latifolia growing as a street tree in Peravoor, India.|
Dalbergia latifolia (synonym Dalbergia emarginata) is a premier timber species, also known as the Indian rosewood. It is native to low-elevation tropical monsoon forests of south east India. Some common names in English include rosewood, Bombay blackwood, roseta rosewood, East Indian rosewood, reddish-brown rosewood, Indian palisandre, and Java palisandre. Its Indian common names are beete, and satisal. The tree grows to 40 metres in height and is evergreen, but locally deciduous in drier subpopulations.
Description and biology
The tree has grey bark that peels in long fibres, pinnately compound leaves, and bunches of small white flowers. It grows as both an evergreen and a deciduous tree in the deciduous monsoon forests of India making the tree very drought hardy.
Haematonectria haematococca is a fungal pest of the tree, causing damage to the leaves and the heartwood in Javanese plantations. In India, trees may be subject to serious damage from a species of Phytophthora, a water mold genus.
The tree produces a hard, durable, heavy wood that, when properly cured, is durable and resistant to rot and insects. It is grown as a plantation wood in both India and Java, often in dense, single species groves, to produce its highly desirable long straight bore. Wood from the tree is used in premium furniture making and cabinetry, in guitar bodies and as fretboard material, as furniture, exotic veneer, carvings, boats, skis, and for reforestation.
Under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 the exportation of lumber products from wild harvested D. latifolia is illegal. There exists an international high demand and price for the wood due to its excellent qualities of having a long straight bore, its strength, and its high density. However, the tree is slow-growing; Javanese plantations were started in the late nineteenth century, but, due to its slow growth, plantations have not expanded beyond Java and India. Many once popular uses for D. latifolia wood have now been replaced with Dalbergia sissoo wood and engineered rosewood's, for economic purposes in cottage industries.
- The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, retrieved 12 December 2015
- World Agroforestry Centre, Agroforestry Tree Database, archived from the original on 2012-03-09, retrieved 2011-03-21
- IUCN Redlist Dalbergia latifolia
- Louppe, D.; A A Oteng-Amoaka (2008). Plant resources of tropical Africa. Timbers 1. 7. PROTA Foundation. ISBN 978-90-5782-209-4. Retrieved 2011-03-21.