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Dalbergia melanoxylon Guill. & Perr.

 Fl. Seneg. tent.: 227, t. 53 (1832).
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 Papilionaceae (Leguminosae - Papilionoideae, Fabaceae)
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Chromosome number  
 2n = 20
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Vernacular names  
 African blackwood, African ebony, African grenadillo, African ironwood, Senegal ebony, zebra wood (En). Grenadille d’Afrique, ébénier du Sénégal (Fr). Grenadilha, pau preto (Po). Mpingo, kikwaju (Sw).
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Origin and geographic distribution  
 Dalbergia melanoxylon is widespread from Senegal east to Eritrea, Ethiopia and Kenya, and south to Namibia, Botswana, northern South Africa and Swaziland. It has been introduced into India and Australia.
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 The heartwood of Dalbergia melanoxylon (trade names: African blackwood, African ebony, grenadille d’Afrique, ébène du Sénégal, ébène du Mozambique) was already used by the ancient Egyptians for artefacts and for furniture such as thrones and beds. It is highly prized for intricate carvings, marquetry and utensils including precision equipment, and is a favourite wood for musical instruments, especially wind-instruments such as clarinets, oboes, flutes and bagpipes, because of its dark colour, stability and clearness of tone. Violin-makers use it for the fingerboard, tailpiece, chinrest, scrolls and button. In Africa carvings made from Dalbergia melanoxylon wood are very popular on tourist markets and fetch high prices. In these carvings the yellowish white sapwood is often still present, distinctly contrasting with the blackish heartwood. The wood is also excellent for turning, and was formerly used for parquet flooring. Locally it is sometimes used for rafters and poles in construction, and for implements such as walking sticks, hammers, drumsticks, arrow tips, pestles, cups, plates and combs. The wood is also used for charcoal production and as firewood, although the flame is very hot and may damage cooking pots.
The foliage and fruits are browsed by livestock, but not by horses. The flowers are a good source of nectar for honey bees; the honey is dark amber-coloured and strongly flavoured. The tree provides good mulch and may improve the soil by nitrogen fixation. It can be used to avoid soil erosion because of its extensive root system. It is also useful in windbreaks and live fences.
In Senegal the stem and root bark is used in traditional medicine to treat diarrhoea in combination with baobab or tamarind fruits. The smoke of burnt roots is inhaled for treatment of headache, bronchitis and colds. In Sudan patients suffering from rheumatism are exposed to the smoke of burnt stems. In East Africa a root decoction is used to prevent miscarriage, as an anthelmintic and aphrodisiac, and to treat gonorrhoea, stomach-ache and abdominal pain. A bark decoction or bark powder is used to clean wounds and a leaf decoction to relieve pain in the joints. Leaf sap is taken to treat inflammations in mouth and throat. Bark decoctions and leaf sap are also ingredients of mixtures used to treat various complaints.
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Production and international trade  
 Dalbergia melanoxylon timber is traded on the international market in small volumes but at very high prices. The export value of semi-processed African blackwood timber was estimated at US$ 2–3 million in 2002. The main exporters of African blackwood are Tanzania and Mozambique. The average annual export volume of African blackwood timber from Tanzania in the period 1990–2000 was 73.5 m³, mainly in the form of small billets, and in 2000 the average price was US$ 10,900 per m³. In 1999 it was estimated that 250,000 pieces of carving were exported with a value of US$ 970,000. The average annual export of roundwood from Cabo Delgado province in Mozambique (producing about 60% of the total of Mozambique) in the period 1990–2000 was 720 m³. In the past Senegal, Kenya and Malawi produced considerable amounts of African blackwood, especially for the carving industry, but stands have been depleted considerably and carvers often changed to other woods or use African blackwood from Tanzania (in Kenya) or Mozambique (in Malawi). South Africa imports logs as well as carvings for the tourist market, especially from Mozambique. African blackwood is mainly exported to Europe (approximately 70%). Other importers are Asian countries (about 20%) and the United States (10%). The retail value of the instruments and crafts containing African blackwood was estimated in 2002 at US$ 100 million.
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 The heartwood is very dark brown to purplish black, sometimes with black streaks, and sharply demarcated from the yellowish white, c. 1-cm-thick sapwood. The grain is straight, texture very fine and even. The wood has an oily surface.
The wood is very heavy; the sapwood has a density of about 1180 kg/m³ and the heartwood of 1230–1330 kg/m³ at 12% moisture content. The wood is very hard, but brittle and fissile, and it is said to be often defective. It should be air-dried very slowly and thoroughly for 2–3 years. The rates of shrinkage from green to oven dry are about 2.9% radial and 4.8% tangential. Once dry, the wood is very stable in service; the high tolerance to fluctuations in climatic conditions, together with its oily nature make it excellent for the manufacture of woodwind instruments.
At 12% moisture content, the modulus of rupture is 186–267 N/mm², modulus of elasticity 12,100–20,600 N/mm², compression parallel to grain 69–75 N/mm², cleavage 27 N/mm, Chalais-Meudon side hardness 13–24 and Janka end hardness 17,850 N.
The wood is difficult to saw because of its hardness; sawteeth blunt rapidly and tungsten-carbide tipped saws are needed. It is rather difficult to plane, but finishes to a beautiful lustrous surface. Pre-boring before nailing and screwing is needed. The wood responds to tapping for screws almost as well as metals. Metal fittings are protected from corrosion by the oily wood surface. The gluing properties are fairly good, the staining properties of the sapwood are good.
The heartwood is very durable, but the sapwood is susceptible to powder-post beetle attack. Contact with fine sawdust produced during processing may cause allergic contact dermatitis in people working with the wood. The quinonoid constituents (R)- and (S)-4-methoxydalbergione have been suggested as causal compounds. The energy value of the wood is very high.
Bark extracts of Dalbergia melanoxylon showed antibacterial and antifungal activities, thus supporting the traditional application for cleansing wounds.
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Adulterations and substitutes  
 The wood of Dalbergia melanoxylon is considered superior for the production of clarinets, and virtually all high-quality clarinets are made from African blackwood. However, historically, other woods have been used, notably cocuswood (Brya ebenus (L.) DC.) from the West Indies, boxwood (Buxus spp.), ebony (Diospyros spp.), and sometimes Dalbergia spp. from tropical America.
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 Deciduous spiny shrub or small tree up to 12(–20) m tall, often several-stemmed and much-branched; bole usually short, branchless for up to 2(–3.5) m, often gnarled and fluted, up to 50(–100) cm in diameter; bark surface whitish to pale grey or greyish brown, thin, smooth but becoming rough and fissured or flaking, inner bark orange-pink; crown irregular, open; young branches clustered at the nodes, some growing out and others remaining short and spine-tipped, initially short-hairy but soon glabrescent, whitish grey. Leaves arranged spirally, imparipinnately compound with 7–13(–17) leaflets; stipules 2–6 mm long, caducous; petiole and rachis almost glabrous; petiolules 1–2 mm long; leaflets alternate to opposite, obovate to elliptical, 1–5(–5.5) cm × (0.5–)1–3(–5) cm, leathery, short-hairy below but glabrescent. Inflorescence a terminal or axillary panicle 2–12 cm long, laxly branched, short-hairy to almost glabrous, many-flowered. Flowers bisexual, papilionaceous, 4–6 mm long, almost sessile; calyx campanulate, 2–3(–4) mm long, lobes shorter than tube, lower lobe longest, upper lobes fused; corolla whitish, with obovate standard and clawed wings and keel; stamens usually 9, fused into a tube, but free in upper part; ovary superior, with distinct stipe at base, style short. Fruit a flat, elliptical to oblong, papery pod 3–7 cm × 1–1.5(–2) cm, with stipe 3–7 mm long, glabrous, greyish brown, laxly veined, indehiscent, 1–2(–4)-seeded. Seeds kidney-shaped.
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Other botanical information  
 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.
Dalbergia hostilis Benth. is a spiny liana or straggling shrub occurring from Guinea Bissau to DR Congo and Angola. Its wood resembles that of Dalbergia melanoxylon, but is only available in small pieces, which are used for making walking-sticks, handles and small implements. In Central Africa a root decoction is taken to treat gonorrhoea, a maceration of the spines to treat tuberculosis, and ash of twigs together with palm oil and salt to treat cough. In Côte d’Ivoire stem pieces are used to treat toothache.
The blackish heartwood of Dalbergia oblongifolia G.Don, a liana occurring from Sierra Leone to Benin and in Gabon, is also used for walking-sticks, handles and small implements. Leaf poultices are applied to wounds and burns.
Dalbergia microphylla Chiov. is a slightly spiny shrub distributed in southern Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and northern Tanzania. In East Africa the wood is used for building traditional houses, for agricultural implements, and also as firewood and for charcoal production. Dalbergia microphylla serves in Ethiopia as a shade plant for crops and as forage, and the Pokot people in Kenya chew the leaves to treat mouth ulcers.
The stems of Dalbergia obovata E.Mey., a liana up to 30 m long or shrub to small tree up to 6 m tall occurring from Tanzania to eastern South Africa, are used for making traditional fishing baskets and woven hut walls, and the heavy reddish wood is used for sticks and stools. A root infusion is administered to treat stomach-ache and toothache. The bark is used to treat sore mouth in babies, whereas the ash of burnt bark is added to snuff and the bark is also used for making rope. Dalbergia obovata is an interesting garden ornamental with showy inflorescences and infructescences. It is browsed by livestock.
The stems of Dalbergia ealaensis De Wild., a large liana from dense forest in Central Africa, are used in hut construction in DR Congo.
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 Wood-anatomical description (IAWA hardwood codes):
Growth rings: (1: growth ring boundaries distinct); (2: growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent). Vessels: 5: wood diffuse-porous; 13: simple perforation plates; 22: intervessel pits alternate; 23: shape of alternate pits polygonal; 25: intervessel pits small (4–7 μm); 26: intervessel pits medium (7–10 μm); (27: intervessel pits large ( 10 μm)); 29: vestured pits; 30: vessel-ray pits with distinct borders; similar to intervessel pits in size and shape throughout the ray cell; 41: mean tangential diameter of vessel lumina 50–100 μm; 42: mean tangential diameter of vessel lumina 100–200 μm; 45: vessels of two distinct diameter classes, wood not ring-porous; 47: 5–20 vessels per square millimetre; (48: 20–40 vessels per square millimetre); 58: gums and other deposits in heartwood vessels. Tracheids and fibres: 61: fibres with simple to minutely bordered pits; 66: non-septate fibres present; 70: fibres very thick-walled. Axial parenchyma: 77: axial parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates; 78: axial parenchyma scanty paratracheal; (79: axial parenchyma vasicentric); (80: axial parenchyma aliform); (82: axial parenchyma winged-aliform); 86: axial parenchyma in narrow bands or lines up to three cells wide; (89: axial parenchyma in marginal or in seemingly marginal bands); 90: fusiform parenchyma cells; 91: two cells per parenchyma strand. Rays: 97: ray width 1–3 cells; 104: all ray cells procumbent; 106: body ray cells procumbent with one row of upright and/or square marginal cells; 115: 4–12 rays per mm. Storied structure: 118: all rays storied; 120: axial parenchyma and/or vessel elements storied. Mineral inclusions: 136: prismatic crystals present; 138: prismatic crystals in procumbent ray cells; 142: prismatic crystals in chambered axial parenchyma cells.
(E. Ebanyenle, A.A. Oteng-Amoako & P. Baas)
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Growth and development  
 Seedlings require light and regeneration is absent in closed forest. Regeneration is often plentiful after land clearance in regions where Dalbergia melanoxylon is common, not only resulting from the establishment of seedlings but also of coppice shoots and root suckers. Regular fires reduce regeneration considerably. Trees grow slowly. It has been estimated that trees reach a size large enough to yield a fair amount of heartwood only after 70–100 years. However, in natural woodland in Tanzania mean annual diameter increment over a period of 4 years was almost 1 cm, and a diameter increment of 1.5 cm/year has been recorded for cultivated trees. In Malawi Dalbergia melanoxylon trees reached an average height of 3 m 7 years after planting, and in Senegal and northern Cameroon 2.8 m, with the highest trees being 4 m tall. In the Casamance (Senegal; annual rainfall 1400 mm) trees were 3 m tall at an age of 45 months. In natural vegetation in Tanzania the mean tree height was 8.9 m and mean bole diameter 22 cm, with a maximum height of 19 m and maximum diameter of 68.5 cm. Seedlings develop an extensive root system, which enables survival during the long dry season and during fires. The roots have nodules containing nitrogen-fixing bacteria. The trees are often multi-stemmed, and the average number of stems per tree in burned localities is higher than in unburned ones. Trees shed their leaves during the dry season and new growth starts at the beginning of the rainy season. The inflorescences develop just before or together with new flushes of leaves. Flowers are pollinated by bees. Fruits mature about 7 months after flowering. Trees generally exhibit heavy annual seed production.
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 In East and southern Africa Dalbergia melanoxylon is mainly found as an understorey tree in open miombo woodland, dominated by Brachystegia, Julbernardia and Isoberlinia spp. It is often found on dry, rocky sites and termite mounds, but is most common near water or in valleys of impeded drainage. It occurs from sea-level up to 1350 m altitude, in Ethiopia up to 1900 m, in regions with a mean annual rainfall of 700–1200 mm, on loamy-sandy to clayey soils including black cotton soils. In South Africa Dalbergia melanoxylon prefers clayey, moderately leached, alkaline and slightly sodic soils. Mature trees are fairly fire tolerant, although the bark is thin (c. 3.5 mm) and soft; young seedlings are very susceptible to fire. In the Sahel zone in West Africa many Dalbergia melanoxylon trees died during droughts in the 1970s.
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Propagation and planting  
 Dalbergia melanoxylon can be propagated by seed, cuttings and root suckers. Wildlings are sometimes also collected for planting. Pods should be collected soon after maturing, when they have turned greyish, to avoid damage by insects. It is difficult to extract the seeds from the pods; usually the pods are broken into 1-seeded pieces and soaked in water for about 6 hours before sowing. There are 16,000–42,000 seeds per kg. Normally seeds remain viable for about 6 months, but they store well in a cool and dry place free from insects. Seeds can be stored for several years at 3°C and 9–12% moisture content. They germinate 8–20 days after sowing, with a germination rate of 50–60%. Although pre-treatment of seeds is not necessary, soaking the seeds in water accelerates germination. Seedlings can best be grown in a mixture of sand and clay. They should remain in the shade during germination, but can be placed in full sun 2 weeks after sowing. The seedlings should be watered at least once a day for 2 weeks after initial establishment, and subsequently every 1–2 days. Seedlings can be raised in pots, but frequent root pruning (every 2–3 weeks) is then recommended. They can be planted into the field after 4–7 months, when they are 30–35 cm tall, preferably in the rainy season. In Tanzania 2-year-old stumps comprising 12 cm of root and 2 cm of stem have been used for planting in the early or middle part of the rainy season, followed by intensive weeding. Results from tests showed that stumps and seedlings are both good planting materials with moderate to high survival rates, but after 7.5 years stock raised from stumps had a significantly higher survival rate than seedlings. Root cuttings had very low survival rates. Initial spacing is 2–4 m × 2–4 m.
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 In plots in Tanzania naturally growing adult Dalbergia melanoxylon trees were found at a mean density of 8.5 trees/ha. They tend to grow in clusters. Regeneration is usually fair under natural conditions when there is no burning of the vegetation.
Thorough weeding is important in plantations until the diameter of the root collar is 5 cm. Medium shade provided by Pinus caribaea Morelet trees resulted in improved bole shape. Side-pruning promotes the development of a clear bole. Trees can be coppiced, but it has been reported that the coppicing power is reduced by the time trees reach sizes prescribed for exploitation.
In India and western Australia, where Dalbergia melanoxylon has been introduced, it has become naturalized. In western Australia it behaved as a very aggressive weed and was quickly eradicated.
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Diseases and pests  
 Some logs show heart rot caused by fungal infection after fire damage. The logs may be affected by tunnel-boring larvae of cerambycid beetles. Numerous herbivores including large mammals feed on the leaves and young shoots.
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 In Tanzania logs of at least 70 cm long and 22 cm in diameter are considered exploitable by sawmills, but the mean length of logs free from obvious defects processed in these sawmills is 2 m and the maximum length 8 m. Severe end checking of the log may develop soon after felling; this can be prevented by immediate application of an end coating. The dry months of May–September are most suitable for logging in Tanzania.
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 In a comparison between coastal and inland forests in Tanzania, it was shown that the inland forests have twice as much total wood volume of Dalbergia melanoxylon, i.e. 10 m³/ha versus 5 m³/ha for coastal forests. The merchantable volume is, however, much lower: 4.4 m³/ha and 1.7 m³/ha, respectively. Moreover, the wood quality is generally better in African blackwood harvested in drier inland regions, probably as a result of slower growth.
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Handling after harvest  
 The logs usually have a small diameter (less than 40 cm) and are often bent or twisted. This makes sawing difficult and sawmills generate large amounts of waste. The recovery rates of African blackwood sawn for export in Tanzania have been rated at only 9%.
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Genetic resources and breeding  
 In many regions Dalbergia melanoxylon trees are selectively felled for their valuable timber. In Senegal Dalbergia melanoxylon is protected by law, but it is still used for carving. In Mali it is still fairly common, but it has come under pressure because of successive droughts and large-scale felling. In Sudan it was rated as endangered in 2000. In Kenya commercial stocks of Dalbergia melanoxylon have become almost completely exhausted, and in Tanzania it was considered appropriate to regard the species as threatened, or at least commercially no longer exploitable in the near future, after a study of prevalence and standing volume; it is protected by law in Tanzania, but permits can be obtained for felling. In Malawi it was widespread in lowland areas, but here the human population density is high and the number of trees has been reduced considerably in recent years. In Malawi it has preliminarily been assessed as endangered. It is included in the IUCN Red list of threatened species, where it is classified as a lower-risk species but close to threatened. The constant removal of older and larger individuals with straight boles may result in serious genetic erosion as well as lack of natural regeneration.
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 Dalbergia melanoxylon provides one of the most valuable timbers in Africa. Its wood has a long tradition of use for artistic objects and is of high economic as well as cultural value. The international trade in African blackwood timber has been relatively stable for many decades and there is no immediate cause for concern. However, the declining numbers of mature trees occurring almost everywhere within the area of distribution of Dalbergia melanoxylon can only be stopped by developing sustainable methods of harvesting, for which more research on growth rates and propagation is needed. This important and typical African plant resource (which is the national tree of Tanzania) should be saved for future generations of wood carvers and artists. Its high value on the market is on the one hand an incentive to develop sustainable methods of harvesting, but on the other hand promotes illegal cutting. Monitoring of the harvest of African blackwood seems warranted, although attempts in 1994 to include it in the CITES lists (Appendix II) failed because of lack of information on the exact status of the species. It is necessary to involve local people in the development of appropriate forest management practices. There are already some initiatives to replant Dalbergia melanoxylon in areas where it has disappeared, e.g. by the African Blackwood Conservation Project (ABCP) in Tanzania. However, the slow growth makes plantations unattractive from an economic point of view. Moreover, optimal growth conditions seem to reduce the wood quality, resulting in lighter-coloured and lower-density heartwood.
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Major references  
 • Ball, S.M.J., 2004. Stocks and exploitation of East African blackwood Dalbergia melanoxylon: a flagship species for Tanzania’s miombo woodlands? Oryx 38(3): 266–272.
• Bolza, E. & Keating, W.G., 1972. African timbers: the properties, uses and characteristics of 700 species. Division of Building Research, CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia. 710 pp.
• CAB International, 2005. Forestry Compendium. Dalbergia melanoxylon. [Internet] fc/datasheet.asp?ccode=dag_me&country=0. Accessed January 2007.
• Gundidza, M. & Gaza, N., 1993. Antimicrobial activity of Dalbergia melanoxylon extracts. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 40(2): 127–130.
• Jenkins, M., Oldfield, S. & Aylett, T., 2002. International trade in African blackwood. Fauna & Flora International, Cambridge, United Kingdom. 32 pp.
• Katende, A.B., Birnie, A. & Tengnäs, B., 1995. Useful trees and shrubs for Uganda: identification, propagation and management for agricultural and pastoral communities. Technical Handbook 10. Regional Soil Conservation Unit, Nairobi, Kenya. 710 pp.
• Neuwinger, H.D., 2000. African traditional medicine: a dictionary of plant use and applications. Medpharm Scientific, Stuttgart, Germany. 589 pp.
• Nshubemuki, L., 1993. Dalbergia melanoxylon: valuable wood from a neglected tree. NFT Highlights No 93–05. 2 pp.
• Takahashi, A., 1978. Compilation of data on the mechanical properties of foreign woods (part 3) Africa. Shimane University, Matsue, Japan, 248 pp.
• World Agroforestry Centre, undated. Agroforestree Database. [Internet] World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Nairobi, Kenya. Sites/TreeDBS/ aft.asp. Accessed January 2007.
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Other references  
 • Arbonnier, M., 2004. Trees, shrubs and lianas of West African dry zones. CIRAD, Margraf Publishers Gmbh, MNHN, Paris, France. 573 pp.
• ATIBT (Association Technique Internationale des Bois Tropicaux), 1986. Tropical timber atlas: Part 1 – Africa. ATIBT, Paris, France. 208 pp.
• Beentje, H.J., 1994. Kenya trees, shrubs and lianas. National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya. 722 pp.
• Bekele-Tesemma, A., Birnie, A. & Tengnäs, B., 1993. Useful trees and shrubs for Ethiopia: identification, propagation and management for agricultural and pastoral communities. Technical Handbook No 5. Regional Soil Conservation Unit/SIDA, Nairobi, Kenya. 474 pp.
• Betti, J.L., 2004. An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants among the Baka pygmies in the Dja biosphere reserve, Cameroon. African Study Monographs 25(1): 1–27.
• Bredenkamp, G.J., 1986. Ecological profiles of potential bush encroacher species in the Manyeleti Game Reserve, Transvaal, South Africa. South African Journal of Botany 52(1): 53–59.
• Burkill, H.M., 1995. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 3, Families J–L. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 857 pp.
• Chudnoff, M., 1980. Tropical timbers of the world. USDA Forest Service, Agricultural Handbook No 607, Washington D.C., United States. 826 pp.
• Coates Palgrave, K., 1983. Trees of southern Africa. 2nd Edition. Struik Publishers, Cape Town, South Africa. 959 pp.
• Elkhalifa, K.F., 2003. Nursery establishment of abanus (Dalbergia melanoxylon Guill. & Perr.). Arab Gulf Journal of Scientific Research 21(3): 153–157.
• Gillett, J.B., Polhill, R.M., Verdcourt, B., Schubert, B.G., Milne-Redhead, E., & Brummitt, R.K., 1971. Leguminosae (Parts 3–4), subfamily Papilionoideae (1–2). In: Milne-Redhead, E. & Polhill, R.M. (Editors). Flora of Tropical East Africa. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. 1108 pp.
• Hines, D.A. & Eckman, K., 1993. Indigenous multipurpose trees for Tanzania: uses and economic benefits for people. FAO Forestry Paper, Rome, Italy.
• InsideWood, undated. [Internet] Accessed May 2007.
• Kamundi, D., 2000. A red data list assessment for Dalbergia melanoxylon in Malawi. SABONET News 5(1): 35.
• Kokwaro, J.O., 1993. Medicinal plants of East Africa. 2nd Edition. Kenya Literature Bureau, Nairobi, Kenya. 401 pp.
• Malimbwi, R.E., Luoga, E.J., Hofstad, O., Mugasha, A.G. & Valen, J.S., 2000. Prevalence and standing volume of Dalbergia melanoxylon in coastal and inland sites of Southern Tanzania. Journal of Tropical Forest Science 12(2): 336–347.
• Mugasha, A.G., 1983. The effect of planting season, different planting materials and weeding methods on early performance of Dalbergia melanoxylon at Kwamarukanga, Korogwe, Tanzania. Tanzania Silviculture Research Note No 43. 14 pp.
• Mugasha, A.G. & Mruma, S.O., 1983. Growth of Dalbergia melanoxylon in natural woodland and trial plots in Tanzania. Tanzania Silviculture Technical Note No 59. 11 pp.
• Palmer, E. & Pitman, N., 1972–1974. Trees of southern Africa, covering all known indigenous species in the Republic of South Africa, South-West Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. 3 volumes. Balkema, Cape Town, South Africa. 2235 pp.
• Thulin, M., 1989. Fabaceae (Leguminosae). In: Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (Editors). Flora of Ethiopia. Volume 3. Pittosporaceae to Araliaceae. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Department of Systematic Botany, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. pp. 49–251.
• van Wyk, B.E. & Gericke, N., 2000. People’s plants: a guide to useful plants of southern Africa. Briza Publications, Pretoria, South Africa. 351 pp.
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Afriref references  
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Sources of illustration  
 • Gillett, J.B., Polhill, R.M., Verdcourt, B., Schubert, B.G., Milne-Redhead, E., & Brummitt, R.K., 1971. Leguminosae (Parts 3–4), subfamily Papilionoideae (1–2). In: Milne-Redhead, E. & Polhill, R.M. (Editors). Flora of Tropical East Africa. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. 1108 pp.
• Maundu, P. & Tengnäs, B. (Editors), 2005. Useful trees and shrubs for Kenya. World Agroforestry Centre - East and Central Africa Regional Programme (ICRAF-ECA), Technical Handbook 35, Nairobi, Kenya. 484 pp.
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R.H.M.J. Lemmens
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

D. Louppe
CIRAD, Département Environnements et Sociétés, Cirad es-dir, Campus international de Baillarguet, TA C-DIR / B (Bât. C, Bur. 113), 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
A.A. Oteng-Amoako
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), University P.O. Box 63, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana
M. Brink
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
General editors  
R.H.M.J. Lemmens
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
L.P.A. Oyen
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
J.R. Cobbinah
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), University P.O. Box 63, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana
Photo editor  
G.H. Schmelzer
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
Correct citation of this article  
 Lemmens, R.H.M.J., 2008. Dalbergia melanoxylon Guill. & Perr. [Internet] Record from PROTA4U. Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa / Ressources végétales de l’Afrique tropicale), Wageningen, Netherlands. <>. Accessed .

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General importance
Geographic coverage Africa
Geographic coverage World
Ornamental use
Forage/feed use
Timber use
Carbohydrate/starch use
Auxiliary use
Fuel use
Medicinal use
Conservation status

Dalbergia melanoxylon

Dalbergia melanoxylon
1, tree habit; 2, flowering branch; 3, flower; 4, fruit. Redrawn and adapted by Iskak Syamsudin

Dalbergia melanoxylon
tree habit

Dalbergia melanoxylon
bark and slash

Dalbergia melanoxylon
bark obtained from Zimbabweflora

Dalbergia melanoxylon
leafy branch obtained from Botanypictures

Dalbergia melanoxylon
leafy branches obtained from Botanypictures

Dalbergia melanoxylon
leaves and green fruits

Dalbergia melanoxylon
leaves and fruits

Dalbergia melanoxylon
inflorescence obtained from Zimbabweflora

Dalbergia melanoxylon

Dalbergia melanoxylon

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Creative Commons License
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This license does not include the illustrations (Maps,drawings,pictures); these remain all under copyright.