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Dalbergia greveana - Baill.

Common Name Madagascar Rosewood
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Usually found in deciduous, seasonally dry forest and woodland, it is sometimes found as a shrub in grassland, at elevations up to 800 metres. It can be found on various soils, from sandy to limestone-derived and ferrallitic[ 299 ]..
Range Africa - western Madagascar.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Dalbergia greveana Madagascar Rosewood

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
Dalbergia greveana Madagascar Rosewood


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Dalbergia greveana or commonly known as Madagascar Rosewood is a slow-growing tree endemic to Madagascar. It is deciduous and grows up to 15 m tall with crooked, short bole of up to 50cm in diameter. It is overexploited from the wild for timber exportation. A paste is made from rubbing branches on stones with water. It is used as a medicine for various conditions and applied to the face. The wood is heavy and very hard. It works well with hand and machine tools. It is used for cabinet making, furniture, parquet flooring, musical instruments, poles, handles, ladders, fuel, etc.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Dalbergia greveana is a deciduous Tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 12 m (39ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.


Dalbergia ambongoensis Baill. Dalbergia eurybothrya Drake Dalbergia ikopensis Jum. Dalbergia isaloen


Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Pieces of branches are rubbed on stones with water to produce a paste which is applied to the face as a medicine against various ailments[ 299 ]. Dichloromethane and methanolic extracts of Dalbergia greveana bark showed activity against gram-positive bacteria[ 299 ].

Other Uses

Other Uses: The heartwood is purplish brown, often with darker stripes; it is distinctly demarcated from the lighter coloured sapwood. The grain is generally straight, texture fine to moderately fine and even. The wood is heavy; very hard; once dry, it is very stable in service; it is durable, being resistant to termite and Lyctus attacks, but only moderately resistant to marine borers. It works well, both with hand tools and machine tools, but it blunts sawteeth rapidly; for nailing and screwing pre-boring is needed; painting and varnishing give moderate results because of the oily surface of the wood; gluing properties are moderate; it is suitable for sliced veneer. A very high quality rosewood, it is much in demand for cabinet making, furniture, marquetry and parquet flooring. It is one of the favoured woods for musical instruments, not only because of its beautiful colour and venation, but also because of its clearness of tone. It is also suitable for interior trim, joinery, ship and boat building, vehicle bodies, poles and piles, precision equipment, carvings, toys and novelties, sporting goods, handles, ladders, turnery, pattern making, veneer and plywood[ 299 ]. The wood is used for fuel[ 299 ].

Cultivation details

The tree is believed to grow slowly[ 299 ]. Natural regeneration of this species appears to be poor in comparison to other Dalbergia spp that come from western Madagascar, although in Morondava region the trees were found to be prolific seed bearers with abundant natural regeneration[ 299 ].


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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[ K ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available


Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Status: Lower Risk/near threatened

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Dalbergia baroniiPalissandre rouge des marais, hitsika, sovodrano00
Dalbergia cochinchinensisSiam Rosewood, Thailand Rosewood00
Dalbergia hupeana 11
Dalbergia latifoliaBlack Rosewood, East Indian Rosewood, Kala sheeshan, Satisal02
Dalbergia louveliiAndramena, Volombodipona, Violet rosewood02
Dalbergia melanoxylonAfrican Blackwood, Grenadilla, Mpingo02
Dalbergia monticolaHazovola, tsiandalana, voamboana00
Dalbergia nigraBrazilian Rosewood00
Dalbergia oliveriRedwood00
Dalbergia retusaCocobolo00
Dalbergia stevensoniiHonduras Rosewood00


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For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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