Common Name: Kingwood
Dalbergia cearensis is a deciduous tree with a small, sparse crown; it can grow 5 - 10 metres tall. The erect bole often branches from low down, it can be 15 - 25cm in diameter[
The wood is very ornamental highly and valued for use in cabinet making etc. It is one of 33 species named as being a suitable Hongmu timber, used for producing high quality Chinese furniture following traditions from the Ming and Quing dynasty, which makes it a particularly valuable wood[
]. It is harvested from the wild and exported in quantity. The tree is highly recommended as an ornamental[
S. America - northeastern Brazil.
Dry forests areas of northeastern Brazil, where it is found mainly in secondary formations on sandy floodplains[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Grows best in a sunny position[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
]. Species in this genus are mainly found in the wild growing in sany soils and on limestone escarpments[
Plants are fast-growing, but they resent root disturbance and can take a time to settle down when first planted out[
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 wood has violet-brown and black, or black-violet, alternating concentric layers. It is finely striped and fragrant; fine-textured; irregular-grained; heavy; hard; highly durable; takes a high, waxy, natural polish[
]. A highly valued wood, it is only available in small sizes and is used for high quality applications such as fine furniture, marquetry, musical instruments, inlay work, turnery and fancy articles[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a nursery seedbed in a partially shaded position. A germination rate in excess of 50% can be expected, with the seeds sprouting in less than one week[
]. The plant resents root disturbance and so seedlings should be potted up into individual containers as soon as they are large enough to handle.
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[
Softwood cuttings of many species, especially if taken from younger plants, will root in a well-drained, sandy medium in a closed case with bottom heat[
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