A taxonomic genus within the tribe Dalbergieae — small to medium-size trees, shrubs, and lianas.
The arboreous forms which least require the humid and equable heat of the more truly tropical and equatorial climates, and are best able to resist the high temperatures and excessive drought of the northern Indian hot months from April to June, are certain Leguminosae, Bauhinia, Acacia, Butea and Dalbergia, Bombax, Shorea, Nauclea, Lagerstroemia, and Bignonia, a few bamboos and palms, with others which extend far beyond the tropic, and give a tropical aspect to the forest to the extreme northern border of the Indian plain.
Of other useful woods found in the plains may be named the babool, Acacia; toon, Cedrela; and sissoo, Dalbergia.
Formerly this coast region furnished large quantities of Brazil-wood (Caesalpinia echinata), and the river valleys have long been the principal source of Brazil's best cabinet-wood - rosewood (Dalbergia nigra), jacaranda (Machaeriumfirmum,Benth.),vinhatico (Plathymenia foliosa, Benth.), peroba (Aspidosperma peroba), cedro, &c. The exotic mangabeira (mango) is found everywhere along the coast, together with the bamboo, orange, lemon, banana, cashew, &c.
This contains a large variety of hard-wooded and valuable timber trees, including species of Weinmannia (Lalona 1), Elaeocarpus (Voanana), Dalbergia (Vbambbana), Nuxia (Valanirana), Podocarpus, a pine, the sole species in the island (Hetatra),Tambourissa (Amhara), Neobaronia (Harah¢ra), Ocotea (Varongy) and probably ebony, Diospyros sp., &c. The following trees are characteristic of Madagascar vegetation, some of them being endemic, and others very prominent features in the landscape: the traveller's-tree (Urania speciosa), with its graceful crown of plantain-like leaves growing like an enormous fan at the top of a tall trunk, and affording a supply of pure cool water, every part of the tree being of some service in building; the Raphia (rofia) palm (Sagus ruffia); the tall fir-like Casuarina equisetifolia or beef wood tree, very prominent on the eastern coast, as well as several species of screw-pine (Pandanus); the Madagascar spice (Ravintsara madagascariensis), a large forest tree, with fragrant fruit, leaves and bark; a beautiful-leaved species of Calophyllum; and the Tangena (Tanghinia veneniflua), formerly employed as a poison ordeal.
The principal timber trees in the forests are - teak; blackwood of two varieties (Dalbergia Sisu andDalbergia latifolia), Dalbergia ujainensis, Pterocarpus Marsupium, Terminalia glabra, Acacia arabica, Acacia Catechu, Nauclea cordifolia, Nauclea parvifolia, Bidelia spinosa, Hardwickia binata, Juga xylocarpa, Populus euphratica, and Tamarindus indica.