Malagasy rosewoods belong to the genus Dalbergia (Fabaceae), which is highly diverse and has a pantropical distribution, but these timber species are among the most threatened as a consequence of intensive illegal selective logging and deforestation. Reliable identification of Dalbergia species from Madagascar is important for law enforcement but is almost impossible without fertile plant material, which is often unavailable during forest
inventories or when attempting to identify logged trees of cut wood. DNA barcoding has been promoted as a promising tool for species identification in such cases. In this study we tested whether DNA barcoding with partial sequences of three plastid markers (matK, rbcL and trnL (UAA)) can distinguish between Dalbergia from Madagascar and from other areas of its distributional range, and whether Malagasy species can be distinguished from one another.