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Albizia lebbeck (L.) Benth.

Albizia lebbeck (L.) Benth.

Family

Leguminosae

Synonyms

Mimosa lebbeck L., Mimosa sirissa Roxb., Albizia latifolia Boivin.

Vernacular Names

English Siris, koko, East Indian walnut.
Indonesia Tekik (Javanese), kitoke, tarisi (Sundanese).
Philippines Aninapla, langil (Tagalog).
Cambodia Chreh.
Thailand Kampu (General), chamchuri (Central).
Vietnam Bô kêt tây, lim xanh, trât.

Geographical Distributions

Albizia lebbeck is indigenous to the Indian subcontinent and those areas of Southeast Asia with a marked dry season (e.g. north-east Thailand, the eastern islands of Indonesia) and to the monsoon areas of northern Australia. It has been introduced widely throughout the tropics and has become naturalised in many places.

Description

A. lebbeck is a deciduous tree where in the plantations it can grow up to 3-15 m tall; the bole height is 3 m and measuring 45 cm in diametre. It is often much larger when grown in the open that can reach up to 25 m tall, often multi-stemmed and widely spread (up to 30 m diametre). The bark is rough, grey and somewhat flaky. The inner bark is reddish. The branches are cylindrical and puberulous or pubescent when young.

The leaves are bipinnate with 1-5 pairs of pinnae on a rachis measure 8-9 cm in length. The leaflets are 3-11 pairs, oblong to elliptical-oblong, measuring 1.5-6.5 cm x 0.5-3.5 cm, somewhat asymmetrical with the midrib is nearer to the upper margin, slightly hairless, initially bright green and folding at night and mature to a duller glaucous green with position fixed on the rachis.

The inflorescence is terminal with globular cluster axillary of 15-40 pedicellate flowers and often in 2 or more together per axil. The peduncle measures up to 10 cm long while the pedicel is 1.5-5(-7.5) mm long. The sepal is tubular, measures 2-5 mm long and ending in 5 triangular teeth while the petal is tubular, measures 5-11 mm long and ending in 5 triangular lobes which are hairy at the apex. The stamens at the base unite in a tube. The free filaments are numerous and measure 1.5-3 cm long.

The pod is flat-oblongoid, measuring 12-35 cm x 3-6 cm and much swollen on the seeds. It is nearly hairless, glossy, veined, pale yellowish and dehiscent. The brown seeds are 3-12 per pod, ellipsoidal flattened and measuring 7-11 mm x 6-9 mm x 1-1.5 mm.

 

Ecology / Cultivation

Although A. lebbeck grows in the humid tropics, its natural range is in semi-arid to sub-humid areas with marked dry and reliable wet seasons. However, it may be established under conditions of low (400 mm/year) and irregular rainfall. The seedlings will not tolerate frost or waterlogging. Reserves in the root system enable young plants to survive total defoliation from fire or grazing, but with an obvious setback in growth. A. lebbeck is tolerant of salinity and can be established on most soils except cracking clays.

Line Drawing / Photograph

Albizia_lebbeck

References

  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.4: Forages.

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