Indian rosewood


Indian rosewood, or sissoo, is native to Oman and from Iraq to Myanmar. In its native distribution it reaches a height of 115 feet, with a trunk 6 feet in diameter that frequently grows crooked. The leaves are about 6 inches long and have three to five leaves arranged in zigzag along the axis, the largest up to 2 inches long. Flowers are about three-eighths of an inch long and are grouped in branched inflorescences up to 4 inches long. Fruits are pods up to 3 inches long that contain one to five seeds. It flowers during spring and the fruits mature in summer. The wood is much prized for woodworking, string instruments, and tool handles. The generic name honors plant collector Carl Gustav Dahlberg and his brother, the Swedish botanist Nils E. Dahlberg (1736-1819). The species name derives from one of its common names in India.

The photographed tree is southwest of Building B and is the only member of the species in the campus. Its multiple stems indicate that it was cut and then sprouted from the ground, a process repeated recently during the construction of the racketball courts.

Flowers: this link.

Dalbergia sissoo (Fabaceae)