Indian Rosewood. Tonewood database.

Dalbergia Latifolia| Tonewood Profile | ”Indian Rosewood”

Dalbergia Latifolia

Dalbergia Sissoo
Dalbegia Sissoo

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Indian rosewood consists of 2 species: Dalbergia Sisso and Dalbergia Latifolia. Both are similar in appearance and physical properties although their natural history differs.

Quick Facts
Scientific name: Dalbergia Sisso/ Latifolia
Trade names: Indian Rosewood
Janka: 3100lbf
Uses: Back & sides, drop tops, veneer
RIYL: Rosewoods
Bling factor: Tends to be Homogenous
Availability: Steady
CITES status: Not listed. No restrictions

Natural History

Dalbergia Sissoo is a semi-evergreen deciduous tree. It is found in the lowlands, along river banks in it’s native range which extends from Nepal through India and into Pakistan.

It is a hardy tree and has been cultivated extensively in major cities in India where air quality, drainage and soil quality are poor. Sissoo attains heights of 30 m in height and trunk diameters of 80 cm. Compared to Latifolia, the saplings of D.sissoo are shade intolerant.

Dalbergia Latifolia is a semi-evergreen deciduous tree. It is found in the lowlands, along river banks in it’s native range which extends from Indonesian Java to the sub-Himalayas through India and into Pakistan. It is not aa hardy as Sisso requiring good drainage and water- tree stunting is common in some sites due to lack of these factors. Latifolia is a larger tree than Sisso and attains heights of 40 m in height and trunk diameters of 2 m. Compared to Sissoo, the saplings of D.latifolia are shade tolerant.

Status

Dalbergia Sissoo is widely planted as a cash crop, shade tree and ornamental in the Indian sub-continent. Large plantations on Java provide a steady source of timber where it is called Sonokeling.

Although more demanding than Sissoo, Dalbergia Latifolia has been successfully introduced to Burma, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria, and Kenya. On Java, it is considered to be almost the same as Sissoo and is also referred to as Sonokeling.

1979 Lowden1979 George Lowden L32 Guitar This grand old Lady is a early guitar made by George Lowden himself. It has a Dalbergia Sissoo back and sides with a deep brown hue to the grain. Check out the entire guitar here.

Physical properties

The heartwood of Dalbergia Sissoo is dark brown with a white sapwood. It is a hard, durable wood which displays good stability and ease of bending. It has a Janka rating of 3100 and a specific gravity of 0.7-0.8.

Dalbergia Latifolia has a heartwood that is purple-brown with a dark streaks. It is a hard, durable wood which displays good stability and ease of bending.

As a tonewood…

As a tonewood, Indian Rosewood has been an industry standard for the past few decades. It’s acceptance over Brazilian rosewood stems from it’s wider availability and sustainability.

Subjective tone…

I would classify this wood as providing a dark and woody overtone content with a low end predominance.

Availability

Widely available due to plantation stock.

Tonewoods Database

References:
Wikipedia
ISSG database
PIER database
US forestry service database

©Terence Tan.

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7 comments

  1. Sunny Tuladhar says:

    is there any other alternative wood for maple or mahogany found in Nepal????

  2. terence says:

    Hi Sunny,

    not that I am aware of. Elm is quite common but will probably not be suitable for necks…

  3. dr s gurudev says:

    pl send me the adress where the rose saplings are avilable kindly in india

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