Seed of the Week: Sissoo Tree

I am sorry to say I might have mislead you with the hint about the mystery seed of the week last week.

It turns out that although the sissoo tree (Dalbergia sissoo) that produced the beautiful seed pods grows very well in the Desert Southwest, it is actually originally from India. It may also be called Indian Rosewood.

The tree has compound leaves. The leaflets are bigger than those of most of our desert trees.

Young trees have a pale bark, which turns darker and quite rough with age.

In India, the tree is grown both for its beautiful, termite-resistant wood and as well as for firewood. It is quite fast growing.

If you want to try to grow sissoo trees from seeds make sure the seeds are fresh, because they lose viability quickly. There is no need to extract the seeds from the pods. Soak them in water for at least 24 hours and then plant in moist soil.

New trees can also be produced from the roots of existing trees, a process called suckering.

Thanks to my three botany friends, Deb, Terry and Claud, for straightening me out on the identity of this species.

Have you seen a sissoo tree?


  1. dreamfalcon

    This looks like a very nice tree. Is the little thing beside the three seeds also a seed?

  2. Roberta

    Good eye! Yes, I took one of the actual seeds out of the pods just to see what it looked like.

  3. Maddy

    Do Sisso trees shed alot?

  4. Roberta

    They do shed the seed pods. Compared to some other trees, though, it isn’t a large amount.

  5. M Neuman

    Beware of the invasive root system. Sissoo trees should not be planted in a small yard, near walls or structures, sidewalks, streets, etc. They will cross property lines and may cause a lot of damage.

  6. Roberta

    Good to know about. I have mostly seen them planted in parks.

  7. Shashi

    Great information..i seaeched a lot to reach this page and finnaly got the required information.

  8. Roberta

    Thanks for letting us know.

  9. Katherine Hillabrand

    Yes! They are very aggressive growing trees so don’t plant more than one in an average size yard!! I’ve grown many Indian Rosewoods and I love them!

  10. Robert vdA

    Their root system also builds scars when damaged. when planted near roads, they lift the road, making sweeping the road impossible, and causing significant road damage. Do not plant near roads, do not plant near water pipes, waste water pipes, pools or homes.

  11. Roberta

    Thanks for the information.

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