Dalbergia latifolia

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Dalbergia latifolia
Dalbergia latifolia.jpg
Dalbergia latifolia growing as a street tree in Peravoor, India.
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Dalbergia
D. latifolia
Binomial name
Dalbergia latifolia
  • Amerimnon latifolium (Roxb.) Kuntze
  • Dalbergia emarginata Roxb.

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.[2][3] Some common names in English include rosewood, Bombay blackwood, roseta rosewood, East Indian rosewood, reddish-brown rosewood, Indian palisandre, and Java palisandre.[2][3] Its Indian common names are beete, and satisal.[2] The tree grows to 40 metres in height and is evergreen, but locally deciduous in drier subpopulations.[2][3]

Description and biology[edit]

Pinnately compound leaves of Dalbergia latifolia growing in Java.

The tree has grey bark that peels in long fibres, pinnately compound leaves, and bunches of small white flowers.[2] 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.[4] In India, trees may be subject to serious damage from a species of Phytophthora, a water mold genus.[4]

Germplasm resources for D. latifolia are maintained by the Kerala Forest Research Institute in Thrissur, Kerala, India.[4]


A Dalbergia latifolia tree stands on roadside at Bogor, Java

The tree produces a hard, durable, heavy wood that, when properly cured, is durable and resistant to rot and insects.[4] 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.[4] 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.[2][4]

Under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 the exportation of lumber products from wild harvested D. latifolia is illegal.[3] 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.[4] 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.[4] 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, retrieved 12 December 2015
  2. ^ a b c d e f World Agroforestry Centre, Agroforestry Tree Database, archived from the original on 2012-03-09, retrieved 2011-03-21
  3. ^ a b c d IUCN Redlist Dalbergia latifolia
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h 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.