Herbs & Plants

Dalbergia louvelii

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

Common Names: Andramena, Volombodipona, Violet rosewood

Habitat: Dalbergia louvelii is native to Africa – eastern Madagascar. It grows on lowland evergreen forest and coastal forest at elevations up to 700 metres. It occurs on ferrallitic or sandy soils.

Dalbergia louvelii is a deciduous tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 15 m (49ft) at a medium rate. Bark is greyish; young branches short-hairy.
Leaves arranged spirally, imparipinnately compound with 9–15 leaflets; stipules small, caducous; petiole and rachis bristly hairy but glabrescent; petiolules 1–2.5 mm long; leaflets alternate, ovate to elliptical, (1–)2–4 cm × 0.5–1.5 cm, thinly leathery, usually hairy on both surfaces.
Inflorescence an axillary raceme shorter than the leaves, hairy.
Flowers bisexual, papilionaceous, 12–15(–18) mm long; pedicel 2–10 mm long, jointed; calyx campanulate, 7–10 mm long, lobes about as long as tube, lower lobe longer, upper lobes fused; corolla whitish, with almost circular standard and clawed wings and keel; stamens 10, fused into a tube, but free in upper part; ovary superior, with distinct stipe at base, style slender, 2.5–3.5 mm long.
Fruit : a flat, oblong-elliptical pod 4–8 cm × c. 1.5 cm, with slender stipe 1–1.5 cm long, reddish brown, slightly reticulately veined, indehiscent, 1–2-seeded.
Seeds : kidney-shaped, c. 13 mm × 6 mm, reddish brown.

This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Like many species within the family Fabaceae, once they have been dried for storage the seeds of this species may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 – 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen – if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing.

Medicinal Uses::
The heartwood is used in traditional medicine to treat bilharzia and malaria. Several flavonoids have been isolated from the heartwood, some of which showed antiplasmodial activit

Other Uses:
The heartwood is purplish red, becoming purplish black upon drying. The texture is fine and even, and the wood has a beautiful polish. It is very heavy and very hard. The wood is much in demand for cabinet making, furniture, marquetry and parquet flooring. It is one of the favoured woods for musical instruments and is locally in high demand for carving and turning. It has been used traditionally for tombs.

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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