Herbs & Plants

Dalbergia latifolia

Botanical Name: Dalbergia latifolia
Family: Fabaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales
Genus: Dalbergia
Species: D. latifolia

*Amerimnon latifolium (Roxb.) Kuntze
*Dalbergia emarginata Roxb.

Common Names: Bosewood, Bombay blackwood, Roseta rosewood, East Indian rosewood, Reddish-brown rosewood, Indian palisandre, and Java palisandre

Dalbergia latifolia is native to E. Asia – Indian subcontinent; Java in Indonesia. It is mainly found in monsoon forests in association with species such as Tectona grandis, Albizzia chinensis, and Cassia fistula. In the southwestern part of its range, it also occurs in evergreen forests.

Dalbergia latifolia or Black Rosewood is an evergreen or deciduous tree, growing to 30 m (98ft) by 30 m (98ft) at a medium rate.It has grey bark that peels in long fibres, pinnately compound leaves, and bunches of small white flowers. Leaves are alternate, imparipinnate, the leaflets 3-5, alternate, orbicular, abruptly acuminate, puberulous but glabrescent, 3.5-6.5 cm long, not quite so broad. Flowers sessile, or short-stalked in axillary panicles shorter than the leaves. Sepals 4-5 mm long, pubescent, the lobes short. Petals yellow, 6-8 mm long. Ovary pubescent; ovules 2-4. Pods to 10 cm long, 1.5 cm broad, the stipe longer than the calyx. Seeds 1-4.

Directly sown seed attain 15-25 cm after the first rains, 90-120 cm after the second rains in India. For seedling transplantation, only tender plants with small taproots should be used. Root suckers transplant satisfactorily in dry climates. Planting should be in spring (March in India). Raising of monocultural sissoo is discouraged. Stump planting is widely employed in irrigated plantations in India. Trenches are dug ca 1.5 m apart, earth thrown a little away from the trenches and the berms used for sowing seed or pod segments. Sowing is done on both sides of the trenches, between middle March and middle June, earlier sowing being preferred. Plants are big enough by the beginning of the next season to yield stumps. Plants are pulled out and stems and roots chopped off leaving 3-5 cm of the former and 22-35 m of the latter; ther lateral roots are also removed. Stumps thicker than 2.5 cm and thinner than 2 cm diam. at the collar are rejected. The yield of stumps is 160,000 per ha. For transport over long distances, stumps are made into bundles, wrapped in leaves or grass, sprinkled with water, and carried in gunny bags. Stumps are planted in spring, not earlier than the third week of March, perhaps April. In no case should it be put off to August. Where subsoil water is low or rainfall poor and uncertain, irrigation is essential. Stumps are planted along trenches or on berms of pits and the field is irrigated. Shallow and frequent irrigation or constant flooding is harmful and induces superficial root formation. Depending upon the weather and the condition of plants, 10-15 irrigations are adequate in the first season and 4-6 in the second. Under proper irrigation, sissoo roots tap the subsoil water within 2 years. Irrigation in later years is required only for supplementing subsoil water supplies.

Medicinal Uses:
Reported to be stimulant, sissoo is a folk remedy for excoriations, gonorrhea, and skin ailments (Duke and Wain, 1981). Ayurvedics prescribe the leaf juice for eye ailments, considering the wood and bark abortifacient, anthelmintic, antipyretic, apertif, aphrodisiac, expectorant, and refrigerant. They use the wood and bark for anal disorders, blood diseases, burning sensations, dysentery, dyspepsia, leucoderma, and skin ailments. Yunani use the wood for blood disorders, burning sensations, eye and nose disorders, scabies, scalding urine, stomach problems, and syphilis. The alterative wood is used in India for boils, eruptions, leprosy and nausea (Kirtikar and Basu, 1975)

Other Uses:
Agroforestry Uses: Used as a shade tree in agroforestry in India and Indonesia, for reforestation of eroded soils, and as a soil improver fixing nitrogen and providing mulch. It is also planted as a roadside tree and shade tree in coffee plantations. During the first three years the trees are interplanted with rice, maize, beans or cassava and later, when the canopies begin to close, they are underplanted with shade-tolerant crops like coffee, turmeric and ginger. In other systems it is grown with fruit trees like mango, annona, jackfruits and guava. Other Uses The heartwood varies in colour from rose to dark-brown with darker purple-black lines or deep purple with black lines – the darker streaks impart[ng an attractive figure to the timber; it is clearly demarcated from the yellowish or pale yellowish-white sapwood that often has a purple tinge. The wood is light in weight, close and firm. It has exceptional dimensional stability, and retains its shape very well after seasoning. It is rather difficult to work with hand tools, but is quite easy to machine; it can be planed to a smooth surface.; turning, screwing, polishing and gluing give good results; and the wood can be peeled or sliced to make decorative veneer and plywood. The heartwood is durable, being resistant to dry-wood termites and wood-rotting fungi; it is difficult to treat with preservatives. The sapwood is perishable but readily treatable. The wood is used for fine furniture; cabinet making; as a decorative wood used, for example, in passenger ships and for instrument cases; musical instruments; turnery, flooring and decorative veneers. It is suitable for high-grade plywood and, owing to its beautiful colour and figure, for decorative veneer. Because of its strength and durability, it is suitable for all kinds of constructional work, doors, window frames and wagon building. It is also used for handles of heavy-duty hammers and axes and for agricultural implements such as ploughs, harrows and rollers. In cart and carriage building, it is used for wheel rims, spokes, poles and shafts. It is one of the most popular woods for carving and engraving. It is suitable for turnery and is excellent for high-class bentwood furniture, walking sticks, umbrella handles and other bentwood article.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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