Family:
Fabaceae Lindl.

Dalbergia melanoxylon Guill. & Perr.

This species is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & S. Africa.

[FWTA]

Papilionaceae, Hutchinson and Dalziel. Flora of West Tropical Africa 1:2. 1958

Morphology General Habit
A small tree up to 20 ft. high, much-branched, glabrous, armed with woody spines which are the hardened tips of short branches often bearing leaves and flowers
Ecology
In savannah country.

[FZ]

Flora Zambesiaca Leguminosae subfamily Papillionoideae byJ.M. Lock*

Morphology Leaves
Leaves 8–20 cm long; petiole 1.5–5 cm long, rachis 4–13 cm long; petiolules 1.5–2 mm long; leaflets 6–12 or more, 1–3.5 × 1–2.5 cm, circular to broadly elliptic or obovate or subspathulate, rounded to truncate and often emarginate or retuse at the apex, rounded or slightly cordate or cuneate at the base; lateral nerves scarcely visible; stipules 2.5–5 mm long, caducous. Leaves 8–20 cm long; petiole 1.5–5 cm long, rachis 4–13 cm long; petiolules 1.5–2 mm long; leaflets 6–12 or more, 1–3.5 × 1–2.5 cm, circular to broadly elliptic or obovate or subspathulate, rounded to truncate and often emarginate or retuse at the apex, rounded or slightly cordate or cuneate at the base; lateral nerves scarcely visible; stipules 2.5–5 mm long, caducous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 2.5–3 mm long, slightly puberulous; upper teeth shallow and rounded, the lateral ones rounded, the lower one triangular-acute and longer than the rest. Calyx 2.5–3 mm long, slightly puberulous; upper teeth shallow and rounded, the lateral ones rounded, the lower one triangular-acute and longer than the rest.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Standard 3.5–4.5 mm long, broadly obovate, emarginate or retuse, claw c.1 mm long; wings oblong-obovate, claw c.1.5 mm long; keel petals shorter and broader than the wings, dorsally slightly connate or free. Standard 3.5–4.5 mm long, broadly obovate, emarginate or retuse, claw c.1 mm long; wings oblong-obovate, claw c.1.5 mm long; keel petals shorter and broader than the wings, dorsally slightly connate or free.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 9 in a single bundle, the upper one free or absent, or fused in 2 bundles of 5. Stamens 9 in a single bundle, the upper one free or absent, or fused in 2 bundles of 5.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary 2–4-ovulate, puberulous; style short, oblique, stipe c.1.5 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Pod 1–3-seeded, 2.5–7 × 1–1.8 cm, thin, stiff, conspicuously reticulate over the seeds. Pod 1–3-seeded, 2.5–7 × 1–1.8 cm, thin, stiff, conspicuously reticulate over the seeds.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seed 8–10 × 7–8 × 1.5 mm; testa reddish-brown, glossy. Seed 8–10 × 7–8 × 1.5 mm; testa reddish-brown, glossy.
Distribution
Widespread from Senegal and Guinea to Eritrea and Ethiopia, southwards to Mozambique and South Africa (Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces) and S Angola.
Ecology
At medium to low altitudes, in seasonally dry mixed woodland, bushland and thicket; up to 1450 m.
Conservation
Conservation notes: A very widespread taxon, globally Lower Risk, Least Concern. However, the heavy, fine-grained black heartwood (African Blackwood) is much sought-after for carvings and for high quality woodwind instruments, and larger specimens are now locally scarce enough for the species to have been proposed for CITES listing as Endangered in some coastal eastern African countries.
Morphology General Habit
Shrub or straggling tree up to c.10 m high, much-branched, with spines derived from modified shoots; crown irregular; bark rough, greyish, flaking off in small scales. Shrub or straggling tree up to c.10 m high, much-branched, with spines derived from modified shoots; crown irregular; bark rough, greyish, flaking off in small scales.
Morphology General Indumentum
Young parts minutely crisped-puberulous, soon glabrous; bark smooth and pale grey. Young parts minutely crisped-puberulous, soon glabrous; bark smooth and pale grey.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence of axillary and terminal panicles 2.5–8 cm long, usually borne on reduced short, spine-tipped shoots; bracts and bracteoles c.1 mm long, usually present at anthesis. Inflorescence of axillary and terminal panicles 2.5–8 cm long, usually borne on reduced short, spine-tipped shoots; bracts and bracteoles c.1 mm long, usually present at anthesis.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers white, sweet-scented, 3.5–5 mm long, secund; pedicels 1–3 mm long. Flowers white, sweet-scented, 3.5–5 mm long, secund; pedicels 1–3 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Ovary 2–4-ovulate, puberulous; style short, oblique, stipe c.1.5 mm long.

[FTEA]

Leguminosae, J. B. Gillett, R. M. Polhill & B. Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1971

Morphology General Habit
Spiny shrub or tree, up to 5–12(–30) m. tall, typically several-stemmed and much branched to form a low irregularly shaped crown; bark grey, ultimately rough and fissured or flaking; heartwood purplish-brown to black.
Morphology Branches
Branchlets clustered at the nodes, some growing out, others relatively short and spine-tipped, covered at first with short crisped hairs, but usually soon glabrescent.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves mostly 6–22 cm. long; stipules oblong-ovate or oblong, 2–6 mm. long, fugaceous; lateral leaflets 4–6(–8) on either side of rhachis, mostly oblong-obovate to obovate, 1–5(–5.5) cm. long, 0.7–3(–5) cm. wide, truncate or emarginate at apex, broadly cuneate to rounded or slightly cordate at base, shortly pubescent at least beneath, glabrescent; primary lateral nerves 8–12 on either side of midrib, the lower ones ascending to upper half.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Panicles appearing with flush of new leaves, ±3–12 cm. long, laxly branched, many-flowered, with slender subglabrous to shortly crisped-pubescent axes; bracts linear-lanceolate to ovate, concave, 0.5–1 mm. long, caducous; bracteoles at top of short pedicel similar.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 2–3(–4) mm. long, sparsely pubescent to subglabrous except on margins.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla 4–6 mm. long, white, fragrant; standard elliptic-obovate or obovate, narrowed to claw; wings little shorter than standard and slightly exceeding keel.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens usually 9, united or variously divided.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit elliptic-oblong or irregularly oblong, bluntly pointed, with the 0.5–1 cm. long stipe 3–7 cm. long, 0.8–1.4 (–2) cm. wide, papery, glabrous, laxly and rather diffusely veined, 1–2-seeded.
Figures
Fig. 21/1–9.
Habitat
Deciduous woodland (but generally absent from Brachystegia associations), deciduous, secondary or coastal bushland and wooded grassland, often in rocky places or valleys of impeded drainage; 0–1350 m.
Distribution
K4 K7 T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T8 U1 U2 U3 widespread from Senegal to Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, south to Angola and the Transvaal (but generally absent from the NE. Horn of Africa), also in western Peninsular India

[ILDIS]

International Legume Database and Information Service

Conservation
Not Threatened
Ecology
Africa: Sudanian woodland, Somalia-Masai bushland and thicket, Somalia-Masai woodland
Morphology General Habit
Perennial, Not climbing, Shrub/Tree
Vernacular
African Blackwood, African Ebony, Chinese Blackwood, East African Blackwood, Senegal Ebony, Sudan Ebony

[ILDIS]
Use
Wood

Native to:

Angola, Botswana, Burkina, Cameroon, Caprivi Strip, Central African Repu, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Senegal, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Introduced into:

Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka

Dalbergia melanoxylon Guill. & Perr. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
Jan 1, 1997 Venter, S. [178], Botswana K000489672 Yes
Tanner, R. [449], Tanzania 15686.000 No
Astle, W.L. [5743], Zambia K000318050 Yes
Rensburg, H.J. van [2557], Zambia K000318051 Yes
Stocks, J.E. [s.n.], India K000264273 Unknown type material Yes
Stocks, J.E. [s.n.], India K000264274 Unknown type material Yes
White, F. [6318], Zambia K000210481 Yes
Chapman, J.D. [576], Malawi K000210465 Yes
Brass, L.J. [17988], Malawi K000210466 Yes
Purves, J.M. [247], Malawi K000210467 Yes
Meller, C.J. [s.n.], Malawi K000210470 Yes
Balaka, J.L. [111], Malawi K000210474 Yes
Chapman, J.D. [8928], Malawi K000210472 Yes
Mendouça, F.A. [771], Mozambique K000210477 Yes
Barbosa [1041], Mozambique K000210475 Yes
Dickie, A. [4], Senegal K000354298 Yes
Chapman, H.M. [70804], Nigeria K000354318 Yes
Pope, G.V. [839], Botswana K000489673 Yes
Grant, P. [6], Botswana K000489674 Yes
Chapman, J.D. [576], Malawi K000210464 Yes
Pole-Evans, I.B. [3238], Botswana K000489675 Yes
Grandvaux Barbosa, L.A. [2969], Mozambique K000210479 Yes
Brummitt, R.K. [8955], Malawi K000210471 Yes
Chevalier, A.J.B. [25], Burkina Faso K000354295 Yes
Pole-Evans, I.B. [2592], Botswana K000489676 Yes
Fanshawe, D.B. [8131], Zambia K000210484 Yes
Daggash, M. [22014], Nigeria K000354314 Yes
Grandvaux Barbosa, L.A. [4354], Mozambique K000210480 Yes
Onyeachusim, H.D. [46969], Nigeria K000354315 Yes
Gomes, A.F. [4841], Mozambique K000210476 Yes
Amdrada [1456], Mozambique K000210478 Yes
Rosevear, D.R. [26601], Nigeria K000354316 Yes
Nachamba, W. [426], Malawi K000210473 Yes
Kirk [s.n.], Malawi K000210469 Yes
Chapman, H.M. [70804], Nigeria K000354317 Yes
Robson, N.K.B. [50], Zambia K000210483 Yes
Angus, A. [3679], Zambia K000210482 Yes
[Letievre] [s.n.], Senegal K000419776 Yes
Heudelot [s.n.], Senegal K000419777 Yes
Buchanan, J. [s.n.], Malawi K000210468 Yes

First published in Fl. Seneg. Tent.: 227 (1832)

Accepted by

  • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers.
  • Barry, J. P. & Celles, J.S. (1991). Flore de Mauritanie 1: 1-359. Centre Regional de Documentation Pedagogique, Nice.
  • Boudet, G., Lebrun, J.P. & Demange, R. (1986). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Mali: 1-465. Etudes d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux.
  • Brummitt, R.K. & al. (2007). Flora Zambesiaca 3(3): 1-258. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Brunel, J.F., Hiepo, P. & Scholz, H. (eds.) (1984). Flore Analytique du Togo Phanérogames: 1-751. GTZ, Eschborn.
  • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Dobignard, A. & Chatelain, C. (2012). Index synonymique de la flore d'Afrique du nord 4: 1-431. Éditions des conservatoire et jardin botaniques, Genève.
  • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Govaerts, R. (2000). World Checklist of Seed Plants Database in ACCESS D: 1-30141.
  • Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (eds.) (1989 publ. 1990). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 3: 1-659. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
  • Kalema, J. & Beentje, H. (2012). Conservation checklist of the trees of Uganda: 1-235. Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Kumar, S. & Sane, P.V. (2003). Legumes of South Asia. A Checklist: 1-536. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Lisowski, S. (2009). Flore (Angiospermes) de la République de Guinée Scripta Botanica Belgica 41: 1-517.
  • Lock, J.M. (1989). Legumes of Africa a check-list: 1-619. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Mannheimer, C.A. & Curtis, B.A. (eds.) (2009). Le Roux and Müller's field guide to the trees and shrubs of Namibia, rev. ed.: 1-525. Macmillan Education Namibia, Windhoek.
  • Mostaph, M.K. & Uddin, S.B. (2013). Dictionary of plant names of Bangladesh, Vasc. Pl.: 1-434. Janokalyan Prokashani, Chittagong, Bangladesh.
  • Onana, J.M. (2011). The vascular plants of Cameroon a taxonomic checklist with IUCN assessments: 1-195. National herbarium of Cameroon, Yaoundé.
  • Timberlake, J.R., Bayliss, J., Alves, T., Francisco, J., Harris, T., Nangoma, D. & de Sousa, C. (2009). Biodiversity and Conservation of Mchese Mountain, Malawi. Report produced under the Darwin Initiative Award 15/036: 1-71. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Literature

Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • Aubrév. Fl. For. Soud.-Guln. 311, t. 63, 1–3.
  • Bak. f. Leg. Trop. Afr. 2: 20
  • Chev. Bot. 210
  • —F.T.A. 2 233

Flora Zambesiaca

  • in Guillemin, Perrottet & Richard, Fl. Seneg. Tent.: 227, fig.53 (1832).
  • —Baker f. in J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 40: 61 (1911)
  • —Baker f. in Legum. Trop. Africa: 520 (1929).
  • —Baker in F.T.A. 2: 233 (1871).
  • —Burtt Davy & Hoyle, Check-list For. Trees Shrubs Brit. Emp., Nyasaland: 59 (1936).
  • —Cronquist in F.C.B. 6: 54 (1954).
  • —Eyles in Trans. Roy. Soc. S. Africa 5: 379 (1916).
  • —Gomes e Sousa, Dendrol. Moçamb. Estudo Geral 1: 280 (1966).
  • —Harms in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 28: 407 (1900)
  • —Harms in Engler, Pflanzenw. Afrikas 3(1): 629 (1915).
  • —K. Coates Palgrave, Trees Sthn. Africa, ed.2: 319 (1988).
  • —Klotzsch in Peters, Naturw. Reise Mossamb. 6(1): 27 (1861).
  • —M. Coates Palgrave, Trees Sthn. Africa: 386, fig.105 (2002).
  • —Mendonça & Torre in Mem. Junta Invest. Ultramar, Sér. Bot. 1: 28 (1950).
  • —Miller in J. S. Afr. Bot. 18: 30 (1952).
  • —Palmer & Pitman, Trees Sthn. Africa: 934–936 (1972).
  • —Pardy in Rhod. Agric. J. 52: 514 (1955).
  • —Polhill in F.T.E.A., Legum., Pap.: 100, fig.21 (1971).
  • —Sim, For. Fl. Port. E. Africa: 41 (1909).
  • —Sousa in C.F.A. 3: 347 (1966).
  • —Taubert in Engler, Pflanzenw. Ost-Afrikas C: 217 (1895).
  • —White, F.F.N.R.: 148 (1962).

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Boudet, G., Lebrun, J.P. & Demange, R. (1986). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Mali: 1-465. Etudes d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux.
  • Brunel, J.F., Hiepo, P. & Scholz, H. (eds.) (1984). Flore Analytique du Togo Phanérogames: 1-751. GTZ, Eschborn.
  • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Kumar, S. & Sane, P.V. (2003). Legumes of South Asia. A Checklist: 1-536. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Lisowski, S. (2009). Flore (Angiospermes) de la République de Guinée Scripta Botanica Belgica 41: 1-517.
  • Lock, J.M. (1989). Legumes of Africa a check-list: 1-619. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Mostaph, M.K. & Uddin, S.B. (2013). Dictionary of plant names of Bangladesh, Vasc. Pl.: 1-434. Janokalyan Prokashani, Chittagong, Bangladesh.
  • Onana, J.M. (2011). The vascular plants of Cameroon a taxonomic checklist with IUCN assessments: 1-195. National herbarium of Cameroon, Yaoundé.

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Bak. f., Leguminosae of Tropical Africa: 520 (1929).
  • Bak. in Flora of Tropical Africa 2: 233 (1871).
  • Battiscombe & Dale, Trees and Shrubs of Kenya Colony p. 81 (1936).
  • Cronquist in Flore du Congo Belge et du Ruanda-Urundi, 6: 54 (1954).
  • Dale & Greenway, Kenya Trees and Shrubs p. 362, fig. 71 (1961).
  • E. P. Sousa in Consp. Fl. Angol. 3: 347 (1966).
  • Eggeling & Harris, Fifteen Ug. Timbers: 93, t. 15, fig. 14 (1939).
  • F. W. Andr., The Flowering Plants of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan 2: 192 (1952).
  • F. White, Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia p. 148 (1962).
  • Guill. & Perr. in Fl. Seneg. Tent.: 227, t. 53 (1832).
  • Harms in A. Engler & O. Drude, Die Vegetation Der Erde, IX, Pflanzenwelt Afrikas 3 (1): 629, fig. 304 (1915).
  • Harms in A. Engler, Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 28: 407 (1900)
  • Hepper in Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 1: 515 (1958).
  • J.P.M. Brenan, Check-lists of the Forest Trees and Shrubs of the British Empire no. 5, part II, Tanganyika Territory p. 418 (1949).
  • Taub. in Die Pflanzenwelt Ost-Afrikas und der Nachbargebiete, Theile C: 217 (1895).
  • W.J. Eggeling, Indigenous Trees of the Uganda Protectorate, ed. 2: 300, photo. 50, fig. 64 (1952).

International Legume Database and Information Service

  • Ambasta, S. P. (1986). The useful plants of India
  • Anonymous (1979). Tropical Legumes:Resources for the Future. Washington.
  • Dale, I. R. & Greenway, P. J. (1961). Kenya Trees and Shrubs
  • Dalziel, J. M. (1937). The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa
  • Gillett, J. B. et al. (1971). Papilionoideae. In: Fl. Trop. E. Africa, Milne-Redhead & Polhill
  • Hepper, F. N. (1958). Papilionoideae. In: Flora West Tropical Africa. Keay, R. W. J.
  • Nair, K. K. N. (1986). KFRI Research Report 43. Preservation of Dalbergia in Kerala
  • Thothathri, K (1987). Taxonomic Revision of the Tribe Dalbergieae in the Indian...

  • Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

  • Flora of West Tropical Africa

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

  • International Legume Database and Information Service

    International Legume Database and Information Service (ILDIS) V10.39 Nov 2011
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

  • Wood Anatomy Microscope Slides

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/