Dalbergia pterocarpiflora Baker
Dalbergia chapelieri is a deciduous shrub or tree growing up to 18 metres tall. The bole can be up to 60 cm in diameter[
The wood is valued locally and so the tree is often harvested from the wild. It also supplies medicines and tannins.
Although the plant is widespread in eastern Madagascar, it occurs mainly in lowland forest, a habitat that is under much pressure because of the growing human population and the resulting demand for agricultural land. Moreover, it is also locally selectively felled for its valued timber. It is classified as 'Near Threatened' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
Africa - eastern Madagascar.
Evergreen humid forest at elevations up to 1,000 metres[
]. It can be found in humid valleys as well as on drier crests, and even may survive as a shrub after resprouting in secondary vegetation[
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Species in this genus are mainly found in the wild growing in sany soils and on limestone escarpments[
]. In cultivation they are likely to do well in a fertile, loam soil and a position in full sun[
The plant can be coppiced[
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 is used in traditional medicine to treat parasitic diseases including bilharzia, intestinal complaints including diarrhoea and dysentery, and to facilitate childbirth[
The presence of flavonoids, tannins, triterpenes, steroids, coumarins and anthracenosides have been recorded for the plant[
The bark is sometimes collected and used for tanning hides and dyeing[
The heartwood is red to purplish grey with darker streaks; it is distinctly demarcated from the reddish grey sapwood. The texture is medium. The wood is moderately heavy, slightly lighter in weight than the wood of Dalbergia baronii, hard, elastic and moderately durable. The wood is suitable for sliced veneer. It is used for construction, carpentry and furniture. In the past, it has been used for railway sleepers[
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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