This is an extremely graceful tree, with its spreading crown of delicate, feathery-looking foliage. It can grow into a tall tree of about 20 metres. The leaves are simple and of pinnate compound (made up of many small leaflets arranged alternately along a stalk). Flowers are small and in bunches. The flowers are lilac in colour during the budding stage, becomes pink, and finally white. Fruits are thin pods (flat, narrow and with a long stalk). They do not split open at maturity to liberate the (one, sometimes two or three) flat seeds.
This tree is native to Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. It was introduced into Singapore as an ornamental wayside tree. During the early part of the 20th Century (1900s), it was extensively planted on Fort Canning but now, few can be seen along the roadside. Certain species of Dalbergia are timber trees of great value, eg. the Brazilian rose-wood, the Indian rose-wood and the African blackwood.