Amerimnum granadillo (Pittier) Standl.
Common Name: Granadillo
Dalbergia granadillo is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 20 metres tall[
The plant is particularly valued for its beautiful wood, which is commonly harvested from the wild. It is currently (2020) the most sought after Dalbergia species in Mexico and Central America. This is one of 33 species named as being a suitable Hongmu (red wood) timber, used for producing high quality Chinese furniture following traditions from the Ming and Quing dynasty, which makes it a particularly valuable wood[
Dalbergia granadillo is highly valued as a timber species and is exported, especially to China. Due to the harvest of the species to meet the international timber demand, the population is declining. Illegal logging also contributed to the loss of mature individuals, due to the value of the timber. Exploitation is inferred to have caused the population to decline by over 80% over the last three generations. The plant is classified as 'Critically Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2019)[
C. America - El Salvador; Southern N. America - central and southern Mexico.
Found in a variety of forest types including deciduous oak, pine and mixed pine-oak[
|Other Uses Rating
Dalbergia granadillo is a plant of tropical lowlands, where it is found at elevations around 100 metres.
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[
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 tree has medicinal properties[
The wood has a beautiful purple colour with broad stripes of purplish black. It is very heavy, hard and takes a fine polish[
]. It is highly valued for cabinet work in Mexico[
]. This is a rosewood timber of high quality, it is used for furniture, cabinet work and also in the production of musical instruments and decorative crafts. This species is one of the 33 species named as Hongmu producing hardwood timber, for use in Chinese furniture following traditions from the Ming and Quing dynasty, making it particularly valuable[
]. Due to this the species is under particular pressure from the illegal harvest and trade of timber. Very small quantities of trade are reported on CITES trade database[
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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