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Overview

Brief Summary

Leguminosae -- Legume family

    Roger G. Skolmen

    Monkey-pod (Pithecellobium saman), samán in  Spanish, is a fast-growing tree that has been introduced to many  tropical countries throughout the world from its native habitats  in Central America and northern South America. Although generally  planted as a shade tree and ornamental, it has been naturalized  in many countries and is greatly valued in pastures as shade for  cattle. Short-boled, with a spreading crown when open grown, it  forms a long, relatively straight stem when closely spaced. Its  wood is highly valued in some locations for carvings and  furniture (7).

    The most widely used common name for the species is raintree, from  the belief that the tree produces rain at night. The leaflets  close up at night or when under heavy cloud cover, allowing rain  to pass easily through the crown. This trait may contribute to  the frequently observed fact that grass remains green under the  trees in times of drought. However, the shading effect of the  crown, the addition of nitrogen to the soil by decomposition of  litter from this leguminous tree, and possibly, the sticky  droppings of cicada insects in the trees all contribute to this  phenomenon (3). The Hawaiian common name, monkey-pod, is used  here because it is a logical derivation of the scientific name  Pithecellobium (monkey earring in Greek). Besides  monkey-pod, raintree, and saman, which is its name throughout  Latin America, the tree is called mimosa in the Philippines.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Roger G. Skolmen

Source: Silvics of North America

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Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Monkey-pod is native from the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, through  Guatemala to Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil (3). It grows naturally in  latitudes from 5° S. to 11° N. (13). Cultivated  throughout the tropics as a shade tree, it has been found in  Burma, Ceylon, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Sabah, Trinidad, Uganda  and the island of Zanzibar (12). The species is naturalized in  most of these countries as well as in the Philippines and Fiji  (7).

    In the United States and its possessions, monkeypod grows in  Hawaii, Florida, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the  Northern Marianas. It is naturalized in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and  the Virgin Islands (3,10). The tree was reportedly introduced  into Hawaii in 1847, when Peter A. Brinsmade, a businessman  visiting Europe, returned to Hawaii, presumably via Panama, with  two seeds, both of which germinated. One of the seedlings was  planted in downtown Honolulu, the other at Koloa on the island of  Kauai. These seedlings are possibly the progenitors of all the  monkey-pod trees now in Hawaii (1). Monkey-pod may have been  introduced into Puerto Rico and Guam as early as the 16th  century.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Roger G. Skolmen

Source: Silvics of North America

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Perennial, Trees, Woody throughout, Nodules present, Stems erect or ascending, Stems or branches arching, spreading or decumbent, Stems greater than 2 m tall, Stems solid, Stems or young twigs sparsely to densely hairy, Leaves alternate, Leaves petiolate, Extrafloral nectary glands on petiole, Stipules inconspicuous, absent, or caducous, Stipules green, triangulate to lanceolate or foliaceous, Stipules deciduous, Stipules free, Leaves compound, Leaves bipinnate, Leaf or leaflet margins entire, Leaflets opposite, Leaflets 10-many, Leaves hairy on one or both surfaces, Inflorescences globose heads, capitate or subcapitate, Infloresc ence axillary, Bracts very small, absent or caducous, Flowers sessile or nearly so, Flowers actinomorphic or somewhat irregular, Calyx 5-lobed, Calyx glabrous, Petals united, valvate, Petals white, Petals pinkish to rose, Stamens numerous, more than 10, Stamens completely free, separate, Filaments glabrous, Filaments pink or red, Style terete, Fruit a legume, Fruit stipitate, Fruit unilocular, Fruit indehiscent, Fruit elongate, straight, Fruit oblong or ellipsoidal, Fruit strongly curved, falcate, bent, or lunate, Fruit rugose wrinkled or reticulate, Fruit fleshy, Fruit coriaceous or becoming woody, Fruit exserted from calyx, Fruit internally septate between the seeds, Fruit beaked, Fruit glabrous or glabrate, Fruit 3-10 seeded, Seeds embedded in gummy or spongy pulp, Seed with elliptical line or depression, pleurogram, Seeds ovoid to rounded in outline, Seed surface smooth, Seeds olive, brown, or black.
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Dr. David Bogler

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Prefer sandy well-drained soil.

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Soils and Topography

Monkey-pod attains its best growth on deep alluvial soils that are  well drained and neutral to slightly acid in reaction. In Hawaii,  most areas to which monkey-pod is well adapted are used for  cultivated crops. It has naturalized, however, on gently to  steeply sloping Oxisols and Inceptisols on certain sites. On  these sites it is most common in gullies where the soil is deeper  and more moist than on adjacent hills and ridges. It can,  however, grow well on a wide variety of soils when planted and  can withstand seasonal flooding (15).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Roger G. Skolmen

Source: Silvics of North America

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Climate

Monkey-pod grows in a broad annual rainfall range of 640 to 3810  mm (25 to 150 in). On wet sites (1270 mm [50 in] or more), its  growth is often rapid. This rapid growth is at times  objectionable because the tree forms a large mat of surface roots  and the crown becomes top heavy, thereby overbalancing the tree  (5). In Hawaii, the climate in locations where the tree is  naturalized and spreading rapidly has winter maximum rainfall  ranging from 1140 to 2030 mm (45 to 80 in), with a temperature  range of 10° to 30° C (50° to 86° F). These  climatic conditions are found between elevations of 15 to 245 in  (50 to 800 ft) at several sites on three islands. Elsewhere, the  tree is reported to grow at elevations of 0 to 700 in (0 to 2,300  ft) (15). It is, however, very intolerant of frost and also, if  grown near the shore, of windblown saltwater spray.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Roger G. Skolmen

Source: Silvics of North America

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Associations

Associated Forest Cover

Monkey-pod is frequently found on old home sites near streams in  the forests of Hawaii where it is usually associated with mango  (Mangifera indica), ti (Cordyline terminalis), guava  (Psidium guajava), another escaped domestic plants. Where  naturalized, is associated primarily with grasses, although  occasionally with such trees or shrubs as koa-haole (Leucaena  leucocephala), Java-plum (Eugenia cumini), and  Christmas-berry (Schinus terebinthifolius).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Roger G. Skolmen

Source: Silvics of North America

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Diseases and Parasites

Damaging Agents

Monkey-pod on the Island of Oahu, HI, is  badly defoliated each year by three caterpillars, Melipotis  indomita, Ascalapha odorata, and Polydesma umbricolawith most damage attributed to M. indomita (13). The  trees promptly leaf out after defoliation, so are not stressed  for long.

    Stressed trees, however, are sometimes attacked by the monkeypod  roundheaded borer (Xystrocera globosa), which makes large  galleries in the sapwood (11). In Puerto Rico, ants (Myrmelachista  ramulorum) bore into branchlets, resulting in defoliation and  leaf deformation (14). The defoliators can be controlled with  insecticides applied to the tree trunks (13). The tree is  highly susceptible to leaf damage from herbicide overspray.  Leaves are also very susceptible to damage by salt-laden mist  from ocean storms (called 'ehu kai in Hawaiian).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Roger G. Skolmen

Source: Silvics of North America

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General Ecology

Reaction to Competition

Monkey-pod is intolerant of  shade. The leaves of shaded branches remain folded during the day  and contribute little photosynthate. Shaded branches die back and  improve the form of trees that shade each other.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Roger G. Skolmen

Source: Silvics of North America

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Rooting Habit

Depth of rooting varies with amount of  rainfall (3,5). In dry areas with less than 1270 mm (50 in)  annual rainfall, monkey-pod roots deeply. In wet areas, the root  system develops at or near the soil surface and can become a  problem in gardens or near paved roads.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Roger G. Skolmen

Source: Silvics of North America

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Vegetative Reproduction

Monkey-pod roots easily  Hardwood (leafless) cuttings, ranging in size from 1 by 15 cm  (0.4 by 6 in) to stems and branches of mature trees, can be  rooted in moist soil on a site without use of mist or shade. In  Honolulu, it is common practice to transplant huge trees by  cutting away almost all the roots and all the branches. Trees  grown at close spacing in the forest frequently have branch-free  stems 4 to 5 in (13 to 16 ft) tall and are transplanted to  parking lots and parks as "instant" full-size shade  trees. Despite the ease with which it can be vegetatively  propagated, monkey-pod is almost always started from seed.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Roger G. Skolmen

Source: Silvics of North America

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Seedling Development

Germination is epigeal. Seedlings  are usually grown from seed planted in containers. In Hawaii,  polyethylene bags are now the most commonly used containers for  this purpose. Monkey-pod seedlings have also been grown in seed  beds and successfully planted bare-root in Hawaii, but not on a  large scale. Severe drought stress usually results in high  seedling mortality following bareroot planting. Nursery seedlings  are of plantable size in about 4 months (15).

    Seedlings grow rapidly if maintained, reaching 2 to 3 m (6 to 10  ft) within 1 year after planting. Natural seedlings, or planted  seedlings that are not weeded, are strongly inhibited by  competition and grow much more slowly. Seedlings and mature trees  are intolerant of shade (15) and extremely susceptible to damage  by overspray of herbicides used in weed control.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Roger G. Skolmen

Source: Silvics of North America

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Seed Production and Dissemination

Seeds are reddish-brown  beans about 13 min (0.5 in) long that drop from the pods when  they open on the ground. Although the seeds are hard coated and  long lived, some germinate soon after moistening by soil contact,  resulting in a short period of prolific reproduction even under  lawn and garden trees. Most or all of the reproduction dies or is  destroyed by insects, rodents, and lawn mowing. Seeds are easily   collected by gathering pods on the ground and drying them under  cover until they open. Natural dissemination is by birds and  rodents.

    Seeds number from 4,400 to 7,000/kg (2,000 to 3,200/lb) (15). They  can be stored dry at 0° to 3° C (32° to 38°  F) in closed containers for lengthy periods with little loss of  viability. Seeds are normally scarified; they are placed in water  at 100° C (212° F), then allowed to cool overnight.  Scarified seeds usually germinate 3 to 4 days after sowing.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Roger G. Skolmen

Source: Silvics of North America

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Flowering and Fruiting

Monkey-pod may flower at any time  of the year in Hawaii, but it usually flowers from April to  August, with the pea~ of flowering in May The flowers are perfect  and form in umbels. The clusters, with their numerous pink  stamens, 3.8 cm (1.5 in) long, look like powderpuffs in the tree  crown. The flowers are insect pollinated Seed pods develop in  from 6 to 8 months and fall to the ground intact, usually between  December and April in Hawaii. The dark brown and relatively  straight pods are usually 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 in) long and  contain from 5 to 20 seeds (3,8).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Roger G. Skolmen

Source: Silvics of North America

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Growth

Growth and Yield

One of the best known trees of this  species is in Trinidad. When a little more than 100 years old,  this tree had a trunk 244 cm (96 in) in diameter, was  (reportedly) 44.8 in (147 ft) tall, and had a crown spread of 57  m (187 ft) (3). The large, rounded crown of open-grown trees  (fig. 1) provides shade over a wide area. Huge trees such as  these are extremely difficult to log, so young, smaller trees are  sought after for utilization, particularly those that are  forest-grown and have long boles.

    Although primarily a shade tree, monkey-pod also has potential as  a timber tree. After the first year of planting at close spacings  in Western Samoa, monkey-pod averaged 4 cm (1.6 in) d.b.h. and  4.4 m (14 ft) tall (2). Because of its large crown, however, it  requires wide spacing in plantations. A spacing of 2.4 by 2.4 m  (8 by 8 ft) proved much too close in Zanzibar (12). In Hawaii,  two plantings at 3 by 3 m (10 by 10 ft) failed, possibly as a  result of spacing, but more likely for lack of adequate tending.  Monthly weeding around planted trees greatly improved height  growth in the Philippines, thus ensuring survival (6). Another  planting in Hawaii that covered about 16 ha (40 acres) at 6 by 6  m (20 by 20 ft) was fairly successful and produced many trees  with 7 to 10 m (24 to 32 ft), relatively straight, branch-free  stems. The growth of this stand, now 85 years old, has never been  measured or evaluated, however. Trees in this stand are 18 to 21  m (60 to 70 ft) tall and are about 91 to 122 cm (36 to 48 in) in  diameter, and have crowns that are co-dominant in the overstory  with Eucalyptus, Ficus, Persea, and other introduced  trees that have invaded over the years.

    Rate of growth depends on rainfall. In dry areas in Hawaii,  diameter growth of open-grown trees is usually less than 13 mm  (0.5 in) per year, and total height rarely exceeds 12 m (40 ft).  In wet areas, diameter growth usually exceeds 2.5 cm (I in) per  year. An annual growth rate of 25 to 35 m³/ha (350 to 500 ft³/acre)  was reported, but a source was not cited (15). This rate may be  excessive in view of the wide spacing required by this species.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Roger G. Skolmen

Source: Silvics of North America

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

No information on the genetics of this tree was found. It is  probable that the genetic base at each location where it has been  introduced is quite narrow. For example, in Hawaii, the entire  population may be the progeny of only two seeds, although the  ease with which seed of this species can be transported in one's  pocket from the Philippines, for example, makes this unlikely.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Roger G. Skolmen

Source: Silvics of North America

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Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Albizia saman

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Samanea saman

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Samanea saman

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 7
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Native from Mexico and Guatemala to Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil. Widely planted and naturalized elsewhere in continental tropical America from Mexico southward. Cultivated along highways and streets and planted and naturalized in both the moist and dry coastal coastal regions and in the lower Cordillera region of Puerto Rico. Often form canopy trees in the Paraguay river basin.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Uses: Fruit, FORAGE/BROWSE, Building materials/timber, Cultivated ornamental, Showy wildflower, OTHER USES/PRODUCTS

Comments: La madera es moderadamente dura y liviana. Tiene un uso potencial para muebles y tallados de madera. Es resistente y apta para postes. Arbol ornamental con flores vistosas, las flores, producen un néctar para las abejas. Las vainas son comestibles y la pulpa es dulce. En varios países se hace una harina de los frutos, que es alimento excelente para las vacas, chanchos, cabras y gallinas. Las hojas constituyen un forraje apreciado.

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Special Uses

The pods contain a sweet edible pulp that supplies nutritious food  for animals. Children also chew on the pods, which have a  licoricelike flavor (3). Monkey-pod has long been a  favorite of plant physiologists for studies of nyctinastic leaf  movements (9).

    Although the tree is commonly used as a shade tree in parking  lots, it is undesirable for this purpose because of the sticky  flowers, gum, and seed pods that fall from it during much of the  year.

    Monkey-pod wood has been reported as hard and heavy (12), and  difficult to work (3,4). Actually, in Hawaii and elsewhere in the  Pacific where it has been used much more extensively than in its  native habitat, the wood is considered easy to work, particularly  because low shrinkage during drying allows it to be machined  while green. Articles made from green wood can be dried without  serious drying degrade (10). In Hawaii, monkey-pod has been the  premier craftwood used for carved and turned souvenir bowls since  1946. As labor costs increased, however, the industry spread to  the Philippines and Thailand, which now supply most of the  monkey-pod bowls for which Hawaii is famous.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Roger G. Skolmen

Source: Silvics of North America

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Wikipedia

Albizia saman

Albizia saman (sometimes treated under the obsolete name Samanea saman) is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is native to the Neotropics. Its range extends from Mexico south to Peru and Brazil, but it has been widely introduced to South and Southeast Asia, as well as the Pacific Islands, including Hawaii. Common names include saman, rain tree and monkeypod (see also below). It is often placed in the genus Samanea,[2] which by yet other authors is subsumed in Albizia entirely.

Description[edit]

Pink-flowered rain tree pollinated by a huge bee
Kolkata, West Bengal (India).

Saman is a wide-canopied tree with a large symmetrical crown. It usually reaches a height of 25 m (82 ft) and a diameter of 40 m. The leaves fold in rainy weather and in the evening, hence the name "rain tree" and "five o'clock tree" (Pukul Lima) in Malay. Several lineages of this tree are available, e.g., with reddish pink and creamish golden colored flowers.

A giant specimen near Kanchanaburi, Thailand, known locally as chamchuri-yak (จามจุรียักษ์). "Chamchuri" is the Thai name of the tree species, whereas "yak" is the Thai pronunciation of yaksha, a mythical demon, referring in this context to the monstrous size of the tree.

During his 1799–1804 travels in the Americas, Alexander von Humboldt encountered a giant saman tree near Maracay, Venezuela. He measured the circumference of the parasol-shaped crown at 576 ft (about 180.8 m[3]), its diameter was around 190 ft (about 59.6 m), on a trunk at 9 ft (about 2.8 m) in diameter and reaching just 60 ft (nearly 19 m) in height. Humboldt mentioned the tree was reported to have changed little since the Spanish colonization of Venezuela; he estimated it to be as old as the famous Canary Islands dragon tree (Dracaena draco) of Icod de los Vinos on Tenerife.[4]

The tree, called Samán del Guère (transcribed Zamang del Guayre by von Humboldt) still stands today, and is a Venezuelan national treasure. Just like the dragon tree on Tenerife, the age of the saman in Venezuela is rather indeterminate. As von Humboldt's report makes clear, according to local tradition, it would be older than 500 years today, which is rather outstanding by the genus' standards. It is certain, however, the tree is quite more than 200 years old today, but it is one exceptional individual; even the well-learned von Humboldt could not believe it was actually the same species as the saman trees he knew from the greenhouses at Schönbrunn Castle.[5]

Large branches of the tree tend to break off, particularly during rainstorms. This can be hazardous as the tree is very commonly used for avenue plantation.

Gallery[edit]

Names[edit]

Albizia saman is a well-known tree, rivalled perhaps only by lebbeck and pink siris among its genus. It is well represented in many languages and has numerous local names in its native range. Most names that originated in Europe (where the tree hardly grows at all) are some variety of "rain tree". The original name, saman - known in many languages and used for the specific epithet - derives from zamang, meaning "Mimosoideae tree" in some Cariban languages of northern Venezuela.[5]

The name "rain tree" was coined in tropical India, especially Bengal. Its origin is the moisture that collects on the ground under the tree, largely the honeydew-like discharge of cicadas feeding on the leaves.

  • English: saman, rain tree, monkey pod, giant thibet, inga saman,[6] cow tamarind,[7] East Indian walnut,[8] soar, suar.
Grenada: coco tamarind[7]
Guyana: French tamarind[7]
  • Spanish: cenízaro, acacia preta, árbol de lluvia (rain tree), genízaro
Cuba: algarrobo
Central America: carreto, cenicero, dormilon, genizaro, zarza
Colombia: campano, saman
Venezuela: carabeli, couji, lara, urero, samán
  • German: Regenbaum (rain tree), Soar, Suar
  • Sanskrit: Shiriisha
  • Telugu: nidra ganneru తెలుగు
  • Marathi: vilayati shirish (exotic shirish)
  • Gujarati: shirish
  • Tamil: thoongu moonji maram தூங்குமூஞ்சி மரம் (Literal translation is tree with a sleeping face, actual meaning is sleepy tree. Refers to leaves closing in the evening)
  • French: arbre à (la) pluie (rain tree)
  • Haitian Creole: guannegoul(e)
  • Hindi: vilaiti siris सीरस
  • Bengali: shirish
  • Kannada: Bhagaya mara
  • Jamaica: goango, guango
  • Javanese: trembesi
  • Khmer ampil barang (French tamarind)
  • Malagasy: bonara(mbaza), kily vazaha, madiromany, mampihe, mampohehy
  • Indonesian/Malay: pukul lima (five o'clock tree, in Malaysia), pokok hujan (rain tree)
  • Malayalam: chakkarakkay maram ചക്കരക്കായ്‌ മരം
  • Portuguese: chorona
  • Sinhalese: mara
  • Sundanese: ki hujan (rain tree)
  • Trinidad: Samaan Tree
  • Vietnamese: còng, muồng tím, cây mưa (rain tree)
  • Thai: จามจุรี [dsha:m-dshu-ri:] jamjuree

In the Caribbean region, it is occasionally called marsave.

As an introduced plant on Fiji, it is called in some regions vaivai (ni vavalagi), from vaivai "watery" (in allusion to the tree's "rain") + vavalagi "foreign". In some parts of Vanua Levu, Fiji the word vaivai is used to describe the lebbeck, because of the sound the seedpods make, and the word mocemoce (sleepy, or sleeping) is used for A. saman due to the 'sleepiness' of its leaves.

CO2 Sequestration[edit]

According to a research conducted at the School of Forestry of the Bogor Agricultural Institute, Indonesia, a mature tree with a crown diameter measuring 15 meters absorbed 28.5 tons of CO2 annually. The trees have been planted in cities of Kudus and Demak and also will be planted along the shoulder of the road from Semarang to Losari.[9]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved May 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Samanea saman (Jacq.) Merr.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  3. ^ Presuming von Humboldt used the Magdeburg foot of 1755, introduced in Prussia in 1793, which was 1.044 ft (31.385 cm).
  4. ^ von Humboldt & Bonpland (1820): pp.98-100
  5. ^ a b von Humboldt & Bonpland (1820): p.99 footnote
  6. ^ It is a rather close relative to the ingas.
  7. ^ a b c Among the legumes, it is not very closely related to tamarinds.
  8. ^ It is not at all closely related to walnuts.
  9. ^ http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/05/18/save-earth-planting-trembesi.html

References[edit]

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Record (1924) treats Enterolobium Saman Prain as the accepted name for this species. Mimosa Saman Jacq., Inga Saman Willd., Pithecolobium Saman Benth., Calliandra Saman Gris., Samanea Saman Merrill and Albizia Saman were given as synonyms.

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