Dalbergia louvelii is a deciduous tree growing up to 20 metres tall[
The tree produces a very valuable rosewood for which it is selectively felled and exported. However, larger trees have become so rare that the share of this species in the total export is probably very small[
A species confined to the drastically reduced lowland, humid forest, where its population has been further decreased by selective felling for its valuable timber. The plant is classified as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
Africa - eastern Madagascar.
Lowland evergreen forest and coastal forest at elevations up to 700 metres. It occurs on ferrallitic or sandy soils[
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This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
The heartwood is used in traditional medicine to treat bilharzia and malaria[
Several flavonoids have been isolated from the heartwood, some of which showed antiplasmodial activity[
The heartwood is purplish red, becoming purplish black upon drying. The texture is fine and even, and the wood has a beautiful polish. It is very heavy and very hard. The wood is much in demand for cabinet making, furniture, marquetry and parquet flooring. It is one of the favoured woods for musical instruments and is locally in high demand for carving and turning. It has been used traditionally for tombs[
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[
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