Common name

Madagascar Rosewood (Madagascar sourwood, rosewood, rosewood, sandalwood), Palisander, Palissandre (Barissand).

Chinese habits

: China’s domestic timber market is often transliterated as “Barisang”. The word Barisan is derived from Palissandre, composed of the roots Palo and Sandre, the former refers to wooden pillars, the latter refers to red, so the meaning of “Barisang” itself is mahogany, with Madagascar Dalbergia species as a collective trade name, this kind of wood belongs to rosewood (Rosewood), but also meets the definition and necessary conditions of Chinese “Hongmu” national standard (GB/T 18107-2000) for sourwood wood.

scientific name

:Dalbergia spp. (D. baronii,D. greveana,D. madagascariensis,& D. monticola)

Chinese name

: Bari mulberry tree species are more numerous, usually referring to a variety of Dalbergia species with dark heartwood other than Bois de Rose in Madagascar. Chinese names include Dalbergia balon (corresponding to D. Baronii, also known as Dalbergia baroni), Dalbergia glomeria (corresponding to D. Greveana), Dalbergia de Malagasy (corresponding to D. greveana), Dalbergia de Malagasys. madagascariensis), Dalbergia montafrasa (corresponding to D. monticola) and others.

Geographical distribution


Tree size

: Tree height 50-75 feet (15-23 meters), trunk diameter 1-3 feet (0.3-1.0 meters)

Average gas-dry density

: 58 lbs per cubic foot (935 kilograms per cubic meter)

Basic density

: 0.75 grams per cubic centimeter, 0.93 grams per cubic centimeter at 12% moisture content

Janka hardness:

2 550 lbf (11 360 Newtons)

Flexural strength:

24 020 lbf per square inch (165.7 MPa)

Flexural modulus of elasticity:

1 742 000 lbf psf (12.01 gigapa)

Compressive strength:

11 100 lbf per square inch (76.6 MPa)


Radial 3.7%, chordal 6.5%, full volume 10.3%, chord-diameter ratio 1.8


: Heartwood color light yellowish brown to dark orange, reddish brown, often with dark black stripes. Timber tables often have a “spider-webbing” or “landscape” pattern, similar to Brazilian sandalwood (Brazilian rosewood) and twelve-stamens rag wood (i.e. persimmon wood – Ziricote). The sapwood is gray-yellow, which is particularly distinguished from the heartwood.

Top two: Malagasy Barisan wood sample (sanded above, lacquered below, this sample taken from Dalbergia baronii)

Textures and materials

: The wood grain is usually straight. The material structure is uniform, medium to high quality.

Wood end faces

: loose porous material; There is no special arrangement of large tube holes, and small and medium-sized tube holes are also seen; Single tube hole and 2-3 diameter compound tube hole; heartwood inclusions (amber or brown) visible; Growth wheels are generally inconspicuous; Wood rays are difficult to see without the help of a magnifying glass; Axial parenchyma scattered polymerization, concentric layered, rhomboid (winged) and banded (narrow band to broadband).

Above two figures: Madagascar Barisan timber end face characteristics


: Depending on the species of tree, the wood heartwood ranges from medium to very durable.


: Usually easy to process by hand and machine, but due to the different tree species, some of these woods are easy to blunt sawing. Because wood is naturally oily, special care should be exercised when gluing and finishing, as these chemical solvents are difficult to dry on the surface of the wood. Excellent spinning and polishability.


: Malagasy Barisan wood emits a pronounced rosewood aroma when processed.

Allergenic and toxic: Although toxicity reports of this wood are rare, wood from the Madagascar Barisan species, a species of Dalbergia rosewood, is still considered a class of allergens, including eye, skin and respiratory adverse effects.


: International trade in this timber is currently prohibited because large quantities of the species producing this timber have been predatorily harvested in Madagascar’s national parks. Nowadays, there is only a small amount of wood left for spinning and carving crafts to sell, which is expensive.


Palissandre in Madagascar is a Appendix II controlled species of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and all Dalbergia species are currently subject to Appendix II of the Convention, as well as its wood products. As a vulnerable species, this species is also on the IUCN Red List, and in the past three generations, natural range populations have declined by more than 20% due to logging and other reasons.

Main uses

: Veneer, musical instruments (guitar body, fretboard), joinery, high-grade furniture, wood carvings, spinning products and other small crafts, etc.

Above: Orange-yellow Malagasy Barisan timber turning products


: Palissandre of Madagascar belongs to the class of rosewood wood, which is a commercial wood composed of a series of dark heartwood of the Dalbergia species found only in Madagascar, because the purple rose (Bois de Rose, that is, species such as Dalbergia blackwood) of the same origin is also considered to belong to the sourwood wood, so sometimes these two types of wood with different trade names are confused, especially Dalbergia with prominent black stripes Baronii is often identified as an error.

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