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Albizia procera

Albizia procera or White Siris is a member of the sub-family Mimosaceae (Azad, Biswas & Matin, 2012: 124). Albizia procera is an early successional tree and is found in dry tropical forests in India (Khurana & Singh, 2000: 1185) and native to semi-evergreen hill forests and in lowland savanna woodlands in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand (reviewed in Azad, Biswas & Matin, 2012: 124; Parrotta, 1997). It is only found in Florida and Puerto Rico, in the United States and also in Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, and China (reviewed in Azad, Biswas & Matin, 2012: 124; Nature Serve, 2015).  Albizia procera occurs also in tropical semi-evergreens, moist deciduous and northern subtropical, broad leaved, forests (reviewed in Khurana & Singh, 2000: 1185). This species grows best on very moist, alluvial sites of well-drained loams or clays but can also tolerate shallow, dry, stony, and sandy soils, and alkaline and saline soils (Khurana & Singh, 2000: 1185; Parrotta, 1987: 282). Albizia procera is harvested for timber and fodder (Azad, Biswas & Matin, 2012: 125). Conservation status is not yet ranked (Nature Serve; 2015).

Albizia procera can reach a height that is ten to twenty meters in height and thirty to sixty centimeters in width (Parrotta, 2000: 282). Depending on conditions, it can grow 1 to 2 meter annually and annual diameter growth is 1.5 to 2 centimeters for the first 15 years of life (Parrotta, 2000: 282).

The flowers form whitish globose heads that are 20-24 mm in diameter, borne on the racemes that are 8-25 cm long (Parrotta, 1987: 282). Albizia procera flowers during the rainy season of the year, between May-September in Florida, and between August and October in Puerto Rico. Flowering of these plants begins at ages 3 to 4, when trees are a height of about 4 meters (Parrotta, 1987: 125).

The fruits are flattened pods that are 10-20 cm in length and ripen to a deep, reddish brown. The fruits ripen 6-9 months after flowering (Parrotta, 1987: 282). Seeds are a dark reddish brown color, with an elliptical shape (Azad, Biswas & Matin, 2012: 126). Seedlings from larger seeds were found to have larger leaf area and were also more tolerant of extreme water stress, and seedlings from smaller seeds were found to be tolerant of moderate water stress (Khurana & Singh, 2000: 1186).

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© Lacie Smith, editor Nisse Goldberg

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