Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1
Linnaea 43: 101 (1881).
Papilionaceae (Leguminosae - Papilionoideae, Fabaceae)
Origin and geographic distribution
Dalbergia hildebrandtii is endemic to northern and western Madagascar.
The wood is valued for cabinet making; it is reportedly a good-quality Madagascar rosewood.
Small tree up to 10 m tall, occasionally larger; young branches glabrescent, brownish to yellowish. Leaves arranged spirally, imparipinnately compound with 7–13 leaflets; stipules small, caducous; petiole and rachis glabrous or sometimes slightly hairy; petiolules 2.5–4.5 mm long; leaflets alternate, ovate to elliptical or oblong, 2–6.5 cm × 1–2.5 cm, thinly leathery, short-hairy below. Inflorescence a terminal or axillary panicle up to 30 cm long, with slightly coiled final divisions, short-hairy. Flowers bisexual, papilionaceous, 3.5–4 mm long; pedicel 0.5–1 mm long; calyx campanulate, 2–2.5 mm long, dark purple, lobes about as long as tube, lower lobe slightly longer, upper lobes fused; corolla whitish, with broadly obovate to violin-shaped 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 short. Fruit a flat, elliptical to oblong pod 2–6 cm × 0.5–1 cm, with stipe 3–5 mm long, glabrous, reddish brown, reticulately veined, indehiscent, 1–3-seeded.
Dalbergia hildebrandtii flowers from March to May.
Dalbergia is a large pantropical genus comprising about 250 species. Tropical Asia and tropical America have about 70 species each, continental Africa about 50 and Madagascar slightly over 40. In Madagascar many Dalbergia species produce high-quality wood. Two species which are probably related to Dalbergia hildebrandtii also have recorded timber uses. Dalbergia emirnensis Benth. from the southern half of Madagascar has similar flowers to Dalbergia hildebrandtii, indicating an affinity, but differs in leaf and fruit characteristics; its wood is used for beams and tool handles, as firewood and for charcoal production. Dalbergia emirnensis is classified in the lower risk category in the IUCN Red list. Dalbergia neoperrieri Bosser & R.Rabev. from western Madagascar resembles Dalbergia hildebrandtii, but can also be distinguished by its leaves and fruits; it is selectively felled for its timber. Dalbergia neoperrieri is classified as vulnerable in the IUCN Red list.
Dalbergia hildebrandtii occurs in deciduous, seasonally dry forest and woodland, up to 600 m altitude, on sandy, clayey or rocky soils.
Genetic resources and breeding
Although Dalbergia hildebrandtii is fairly widespread, it is uncommon and selectively felled for its timber. It has been included in the IUCN Red list as vulnerable.
Very little information is available on Dalbergia hildebrandtii, but it does not seem to have good prospects as a timber tree of future importance because of its declining numbers and often small size.
• du Puy, D.J., Labat, J.N., Rabevohitra, R., Villiers, J.-F., Bosser, J. & Moat, J., 2002. The Leguminosae of Madagascar. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 750 pp.
• du Puy, D., 1998. Dalbergia hildebrandtii. In: IUCN. 2006 Red list of threatened species. [Internet] http://www.iucnredlist.org. Accessed December 2006.
Correct citation of this article:
Lemmens, R.H.M.J., 2007. Dalbergia hildebrandtii Vatke. In: Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.