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Dalbergia latifolia


Dalbergia latifolia Roxb.

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Common Name: Indian Rosewood, Tamalan Tree, East Indian Rosewood, Black Rosewood, Sonokeling, Bombay Blackwood, 阔叶黄檀


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Medium (16m-30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Rounded


Native Distribution India, Nepal and Indonesia
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Monsoon Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Non-native

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Single stemmed tree with a wide spreading dome-shaped crown, able to grow up to about 15 - 40 m and with a girth of about 2 m.
Trunk Grey, thin bark with irregular short cracks and exfoliating in fibrous longitudinal flakes.
Foliage Alternate, compound dark green leaves measuring about 10 - 30 cm long, odd-pinnate with 5 - 7 unequal sized leaflets.
Flowers White small flowers in long inflorescences measuring about 5 - 20 cm long.  
Fruit Indehiscent brown pod measuring about 15 cm long and 1.5 - 2.5 cm wide, pointed at both ends.
Others - Plant Morphology This species is protected under the Indian Forest Act, whereby there is a ban on the export of logs or sawn timber. It is also listed as "Vulnerable" in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Habitat Mainly found in monsoon forests and up to areas with an altitude of 1500 m.
Etymology Genus Dalbergia is named in honour of Swedish brothers Nicholas Dalberg and Carl Gustav. The former is a physician and botanist while the latter explored the West Indies. Species latifolia is from the Latin word "latiflorus" which means with broad leaves.
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal: Tannins extracted from the bark are used to treat diarrhoea and indigestion 
Timber & Products: Timber used to make furniture, veneers, musical instruments, boat keels and joinery.
Agriculture - Forestry: Due to its nitrogen-fixing properties, the foliage is usually nitrogen-rich and is used as mulch or fodder. This species is usually planted with crops like rice, maize, beans, coffee and ginger.

Landscaping Features

Landscape Uses Roadside Tree / Palm, General, Parks & Gardens, Riverine, Shade Providing Tree / Palm

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Deciduous
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Compound
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.0 (Tree - Dense Canopy)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Indehiscent Dry Fruit , Pod
Mature Seed Colour(s) Black, Brown
Mature Seed Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny
Seed Description Seeds are 6 - 7 mm long and 4 - 5 mm wide.
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Few (1-5)

Image Repository



Master ID 1543
Species ID 2836
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 15 February 2022.