Dalbergia cochinchinensis Pierre - PAPILIONACEAE

Synonym : Dalbergia cambodiana Pierre

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Botanical descriptions Habitat and ecology Distribution

Botanical descriptions :

Diagnostic characters : Wood blackish red. Leaves alternate, imparipinnate, rachis swollen below, leaflets glabrous, below glaucous. Inflorescence terminal or subterminal. Flowers pea-like white. Fruit a flattened, linear pod, long stalk, not splitting when mature.
Habit : Large deciduous tree, up to 30 m height, 60-80 cm in diameter. Branches ascending to the main trunk.
Trunk & bark : Bole straight. Bark smooth, fibrous, scaly with age, brown to greyish-brown. Wood hard, blackish red, becoming blackish when old.
Branches and branchlets or twigs : Twigs terete, glabrous, light brown, strongly lenticelled.
Exudates : Exudate absent.
Leaves : Leaves compound, imparipinnate, alternate, pulvinate, rachis 13-25 cm, 7-9 leaflets. Leaflet ovate, 3.5-8 x 2-4 cm, apex acute, base rounded, margin entire, blade coriaceous, glaucous below, glabrous on both sides, light brown or reddish-brown when dry.
Midrib slightly canaliculated above, prominent above, secondary veins obtuse to oblique to the midrib, closely parallel and anastomosing near the margin, tertiary veins finely reticulate. Petiolule canaliculated, glabrous. Stipule present, rapidly caducous.
Inflorescences or flowers : Flowers grouped in terminal or subterminal panicles of 10-20 cm long, flower white, flagrant, pedicel 1 mm long.
Fruits : Pod linear, flattened, 4.5-7.5 x 0.8-1.2 cm, brown, glabrous, thin wall, stalk 1-1.2 cm long with very brief beak at the end.
Seeds : Seeds 2, reniform, reddish brown.

Habitat and ecology :

In mixed deciduous forest, in depleted mixed pine forest dominated by Pinus merkusii, Dipterocarpus species, Fagaceae and Lauraceae up to 100 m altitude. Flowering period: March to August; Fruiting time: October to December.

Distribution :

Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos ( Khammouane, Louangphrabang, Savannakhet).

Remark/notes/uses :
The luxury, high price, rosewood is used for making high quality cabinet work and furniture, art handicrafts, and musical instruments.

Specimens studied :
BT 643 (Herbarium of Faculty of Sciences-NUoL, NHN-Leiden and CIRAD-Montpellier).

Literature :
Flore Générale de l’Indochine. 1916-1920. Vol.2, Fasc. (4-6). Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Laboratoire de Phanérogamie, Paris, France.
Niyomdam C., Pham Hoang Ho, Dyphon P. & Vidal J.E. 1997. Leguminosae- Papilionoideae- Dalbergieae. Flore du Cambodge, du Laos et du Viêtnam, No 29. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France.

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