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DALBERGIA sissoo

Image of Dalbergia sissoo

Carol Cloud Bailey

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

DALBERGIA sissoo

Plant Common Name

Indian Rosewood, Sissoo

General Description

Tall, stately and graceful, Indian rosewood is fast-growing and commercially useful. This deciduous tree is native to India, Pakistan and Nepal where it is widely planted for timber. It is also valuable as an ornamental due to its vase-shaped habit and drooping branches.

The leaves are arranged like a feather. Each leaftlet is round to oval-shaped with a pointed tip. Its spring flowers are fragrant and sweet pea-like flowers and come in shades of pale yellow, white or pink. The fruit is a light brown, flat, thin pod that splits to expel bean-like seeds. Its crooked trunk has furrowed gray bark and the roots sucker readily.

Indian rosewood requires full sun and is tolerant of many types of soil; acid or alkaline soil and loamy, sandy or rocky. It takes several years to establish, but once it does, it is drought tolerant, so supplemental irrigation is not required. Still, it grows best in moist conditions and is found growing naturally along stream beds. This tree is easily propagated by seeds, cuttings or suckers. Prune it while young to establish good branch structure as it is prone to branch breakage in storms and high winds.

A popular tree for backyards and street sides, Indian Rosewood is best planted in subtropical and tropical locations. It will tolerate some frost and months of dry weather, but still fares best where temperatures are consistently mild. In some areas, such as South Florida and Australia, it has escaped from cultivation and has become invasive. In other parts of the world, it is appreciated for the hard durable wood it produces for furniture, boats, and wheels and for its lovely form.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 13

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 13, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    50'-70' / 15.2m - 21.3m

  • Width

    35'-70' / 10.7m - 21.3m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    India, Nepal

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site, Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White, Yellow, Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Fissured

  • Usage

    Shade Trees, Street Trees, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes