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Indian Rosewood

Dalbergia sissoo

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Dalbergia (dal-BERG-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: sissoo



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


over 40 ft. (12 m)


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:



Chandler, Arizona

Glendale, Arizona

Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Litchfield Park, Arizona

Peoria, Arizona (3 reports)

Phoenix, Arizona

Queen Creek, Arizona

Sun City, Arizona

Yuma, Arizona

Bartow, Florida

Bradley, Florida

Hobe Sound, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Ainaloa, Hawaii

Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaii

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 15, 2013, gravymeister wrote:

The earlier comments reflect my experience.
I also had many large birds roosting in the tree through the summer.
I had the sissoo removed, and dug out the stump, and dug out a half-dozen roots the size of my arm, some 25-30' long.
For six months I killed roots and new shoots.
Here's how:
Drill 1" diameter holes every 3 feet halfway through the roots.
Pour Roundup concentrate (undiluted) into the holes.
Every week, drench the new shoots with Roundup mixed for mature weeds.
I removed about 50 pavers, chopped out roots, and replaced the pavers.
Be patient.


On Aug 30, 2013, tgunsch from Yuma, AZ wrote:

When we built our house 10 years ago we asked our landscaper for a big leafy tree for the centerpiece of our large yard. We wanted a tree that would stay green all year and have minimum leaf dropage. He suggested a Sisso tree and after looking at one at the nursery we agreed. The tree grew fast and we immediatly realized that there was considerable leaf dropage although the tree did remain green all year. At first we were able to forgive the leaf mess since the tree was so beautiful. The tree grew unbelievably fast and after 8 years cleaning up after it became a nightmare. The final straw was when the concrete deck around the pool 30 feet away started heaving and we were told the giant root doing the damage was from the sisso. Although heartbreaking, we made the decision to have the m... read more


On Aug 12, 2013, ihatesissoo from Peoria, AZ wrote:

The 2 Sissoo trees we planted are very pretty BUT like everyone else has mentioned with a negative response they are a nightmare!! DO NOT PLANT unless you have an acre lot. Even beware with that. Had I known about the invasive root system and suckers we never would have planted them. So now 5 years after being planted, they are 20-25 feet tall, roots are all through our grass lawn, the roots are uplifting our pavers, and the suckers are everywhere!!! At first, we cut roots that were going through the grass and suckers came up everywhere along the root - like a forest - so we ripped up the roots through the grass. Several landscapers told us to remove them. So after paying for landscaping 5 years ago, we now have to pay more money to fix pavers, remove trees, and re-do the lawn. Onl... read more


On Jul 18, 2013, AKinChandler from Chandler, AZ wrote:

Like others, I wanted a relatively fast growing shade tree in AZ. I specifically asked for a tree without an invasive root system and one that would not make a mess. Our landscaper recommended the Sissoo. That landscaper better hope I never catch him in a dark alley. I hate this tree. The first one they planted actually died. I should have picked a different tree. Without knowing how bad the tree was I went with another Sissoo. The second one got big quick. In just a couple of years the trunk was 10 inches in diameter and the tree was 25-30 feet tall. Early on a couple of suckers would come up but they seemed easy to control. Then the suckers started popping up in the rock around the grass area where the tree was planted. It was removed a couple of years ago. Instead of stump ... read more


On Jul 7, 2013, Dianne29 from Desoto Lakes, FL wrote:

A beautiful-looking tree but beneath it's magnificent exterior lies a menacing and invasive species that I would NEVER recommend, at least not in Florida! The root system is incredible, wrapping throughout my front yard, under my house and into the back yard. I really have no idea to what extent the damage may be under my slab and into my pipes. The tree is probably 25 years old (as I have been in the house for 19) and it drops all its leaves at least once a year. Heaven forbid it starts to leaf and a cold spell hits because hear we go again. It is both male and female, I fear, because it flowers and then it drop stamins or some such thing EVERYWHERE twice a year. I call it "the tree from hell." It sucks all the water out of all the plants around it and makes it nearly impossible t... read more


On Jun 13, 2013, Tasha2013 from Chandler, AZ wrote:

i also am in the camp of hating this tree! Had one planted (at advice of nursery). Wanted low litter, desert adapted fast growing shade. Well I got that and so much more. After 10 yrs and 10K damage...roots grew into water main, under sidewalks, under driveway, had the 35 ft tree cut down and stump ground last fall. Now I have suckers coming up all over the place. Had the stump reground on Memorial day and it seems like that just stimulated more growth everywhere else! HELP!! How do I get rid of these roots? It is a grass yard so it does get water. Anyone who has started this process over the years please advise.
Frustrated in Chandler!


On Oct 28, 2012, nogottarancho from Maricopa, AZ wrote:

planted 5 and took 3 out and neglected other two

now suckering up thru my ash tree saucer and growing like a weed. almost 20 feet away.

the neglected two remained green and lush little bushes and could not figure it out as I did not water during summer.

woe is me, my septic is across the drive way. would not reco unless large lot and your only tree.


On Apr 30, 2012, BookLee from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Help!!!!Just Purchased An Indian Rosewood Tree. I was going to plant it by our pool and pool pump. After reading the negatives I wonder if this is wise? The tree is about 12 feet and has a narrow circumference. Will it be invasive to the electrical and pool plumbing?


On Jun 1, 2011, elissajk from Litchfield Park, AZ wrote:

We have 4 of these gorgeous trees in our backyard. My favorite things about them are how quickly they grow, and how the wind blows through the leaves. It sounds similar to a bunch of pine trees in the forrest, and I love so much to sit under the thick shade of one and listen to the sound. Now they absolutely do require pruning and staking, so they are not a no maintenance tree. After about the 4th-5th year, they do create a more than what I would call "low" litter, but definitely less than many other popular trees here in AZ, and definitely not high or even moderate litter. After last winter's big freeze, ours lost most of their leaves, but typically in this area, they keep them all year. Like all hearty big trees, you must not plant them very close to walls, concrete, patios, houses, and ... read more


On Sep 22, 2010, NUMBSKULL from Glendale, AZ wrote:

Be forewarned of what you're getting yourself into. They are so beautiful and fast growing when they are young, but when you reach the 6th & 7th year - you are in for a constant mess, especially in the winter. I was heartbroken to have to take them out. After removing 15 of these trees off my entire property in Feb 2010, I am still paying the price physically & financially in Sept 2010 of trying to rid all the new saplings that are popping up everywhere. While the trunks are dead, the roots are not. It won't stop, no matter what we do. We've pulled every imaginable root and have to rip up our lawn again. We have poisoned these things to death at the trunk numerous numerous times, and have sprayed, pulled, cussed at every new tree root popping out of the ground. It has destroyed pav... read more


On Nov 14, 2009, Fedup from Peoria, AZ wrote:

I have 2 seven year old Sissoo's in my backyard that I must sadly remove. These are beautiful trees which I decided to purchase after doing extensive research. I asked the largest tree nursery in AZ (they planted the trees) for advice and they didn't tell me that these trees will take over everything in its path. They never said that they would be a problem where they were planted. These trees are wolves in sheep's clothing.

The tree that's closest to the grass lawn is extremely invasive. I've removed roots and saplings from areas 35 ft away from the base of the tree. I've torn up my lawn several times removing the roots. It seems to suck whatever water is around because my lawn and plants in the tree's vicinity are all languishing.

The other tree is f... read more


On Oct 31, 2009, sckufusrnms from Peoria, AZ wrote:

After having searched the Web high and low for the cons and/or disadvantages of Dalbergia sissoo trees, I must say I'm flabbergasted that the majority of information I have found is nothing but positive. Why? Because my experience with this tree has been an absolute nightmare, and I would never recommend it to anyone.

I had never heard of the sissoo tree until I purchased a 10-year-old home with a tall, obviously established one in its back yard. On the walk-through, about 24 feet away from the gargantuan beast, I noticed what appeared to be a small plant or weed in a corner of the yard, and asked about it. "That's just a sapling from the tree," I was told by a Realtor. "Don't worry about it."

A few weeks later, after moving into the home, the sapling had gr... read more


On Jul 15, 2008, slatwood from Sun City, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Some very good descriptions precede mine, including the morning fragrance of the inconspicuous white blossoms. But I'd like to add that I spent several years in the nursery trade - grown too fast (pushed with fertilizer, warmed in winter, etc.) the wood is brittle. Grown as a landscape tree, it is as sturdy as any Elm, perhaps more so. Has shown more wind and weight resistance than Ficus nitida. There are several around town that have never succumbed to high winds. In particular, there's one on the Glendale CC Campus, over 40 years old, huge -- never split nor broke and has been through 40 years of monsoons. Also, in our climate it is usually evergreen; 2 years ago temps of 24 degrees two nights in a row, took about 1/2 the foliage. Fastest growing broad-leafed shade tree for the deser... read more


On Aug 25, 2005, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is a graceful tree, but as stated above, it is quite brittle. The hurricanes did remove a lot of them for us, but not enough. It is listed as a Category II Invasive Exotic in central and south Florida.


On Feb 3, 2005, arielsadmirer from Margate, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

This tree makes a handsome specimen. It is easily grown, semi-evergeen and has delicate, oval-pointed leaves. Rosewood makes an excellent light, filtered shade. The leaves dance easily in any breeze. Flowers are very inconspicuous, but very fragrant and white. They are followed Slender, flat, brown seed pods.

Rosewood is a prized wood for cabinet makers. Many are grown for lumber or veneer. Though the wood of this tree is beautiful, it can be very brittle. If you live in an area prone to wind storms, proper early training and pruning, can help ensure wind resistance. This is one of the trees that didn't make it after our recent hurricanes.

Roots can be a nuisance if planted to close to hardscape. They can lift sidewalks and the like.