Common Name(s): Sissoo, Sheesham

Scientific Name: Dalbergia sissoo

Distribution: Primarily northern India, Nepal, and Pakistan, as well as Western Asia; also grown on plantations

Janka Hardness: 1,660

Color/Appearance: Heartwood ranges from golden brown to a darker reddish brown. The pale, straw-colored sapwood is clearly demarcated from the heartwood, and is sometimes incorporated into finished products—possibly for reasons of economy rather than aesthetics.

Grain/Texture: Sissoo generally has a straight grain, though it can be interlocked—sometimes severely so. Texture is medium to coarse with a good natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; large to very large pores in no specific arrangement, few to very few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; gums and other heartwood deposits (reddish brown) common; narrow rays not visible without lens, normal to fairly close spacing; parenchyma vasicentric, winged, and confluent.

Workability: Sissoo has good working characteristics, and responds well to nearly all machining operations (the exception being sections of wood with interlocked grain, which tend to tear out during surfacing). However, chalky deposits occasionally present in the wood can dull cutters quickly. Sissoo turns, glues, and finishes well.

Sustainability: Although Sissoo is not evaluated on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, it is listed on CITES appendix II under the genus-wide restriction on all Dalbergia species—which also includes finished products made of the wood.

Common Uses: Veneer, plywood, musical instruments (percussion), furniture, flooring, boatbuilding, carving, and turned objects.