Dalbergia sissoo

Accession Count: 54
Common Name: sissoo Tree
    • Select which
      accessions to find:

Family Name: Fabaceae
Botanical Name: Dalbergia sissoo
Sub Species:
This fast-growing deciduous tree reaches heights of around 50 feet high with a 30 to 40 foot spread (1). Mature trees have dark brown heartwood and white to pale brown sapwood. The heartwood is extremely durable.The compound leaves have oval shaped leaflets, are 2-4 inches long and are bright green, somewhat leathery and alternate (1,6). The small white or yellow flowers are abundant and grow in clusters 2 to 4 inches long (2). The flowers then produce pods which are oblong, flat, 2 to 4 inches long, green to light brown in color, and contain 1-5 bean shaped seeds (2).
Compound: Dal sis
Geographic Origin: India
Ecozone Origin: Indomalaya
Biome Origin:
Natural History: Dalbergia sissoo is native to tropical and subtropical climates of India, Nepal, and Pakistan (4). It is usually found along forest margins and near streams and rivers (4). The only known location of it being a potential invasive species in the US is Florida (4). 
Cultivation Notes: The Sissoo tree is a quick growing tree that will tolerate a variety of soils bud does not tolerate salt very well (2,4,6). It’s roots regularly produce sprouts and it should not be planted close to any sidewalks or buildings, as the roots can lift cement or damage a structure’s foundations (1,2). Pruning should be done in January to control its size and allow wind to blow through the leaves (6).
Ethnobotany: This tree is prized for its high quality beautiful dark brown wood. The wood is used for furniture, shipbuilding, musical instruments, skis, and flooring. It is the second most important cultivated timber tree in India, after Teak (3). The sissoo also producers a nitrogen-rich fodder, which makes it an excellent tree to improve crop conditions (4). Growers also use this tree as shade in the numerous tea plantations in India and surrounding countries (4).

Height: 20 - 50 feet
Width: 20 - 50 feet
Growth Rate: Fast Growing
Grow Season: Summer
Flower Season: Spring
Color: White
Function: Shade
Spread: Non-spreading
Allergen: Non-allergenic
Invasive: Invasive
Toxicity: Benign
Hardy: Semi-hardy
Water Use: Moderate Water Use

(1)US Forest Service Fact Sheet

(2)University of Florida IFAS Extension Retrieved 10/11/2019

(3)Purdue University Center for New Crops and Plants Products Retrieved 10/11/2019

(4)Global Invasive Species Database Retrieved 10/11/2019

(5)Arizona State University Public Database Retrieved 10/11/2019

(6)_ Duffield, M. R., & Jones, W. D. (2001). Plants for dry climates: how to select, grow, and enjoy_. Los Angeles, CA: HP Books.


Dalbergia sissoo