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Albizia Procera (Roxb.) Benth

Mimosaceae
Tall Albizia

Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.


  1. Uses
  2. Folk Medicine
  3. Chemistry
  4. Description
  5. Germplasm
  6. Distribution
  7. Ecology
  8. Cultivation
  9. Harvesting
  10. Yields and Economics
  11. Energy
  12. Biotic Factors
  13. References

Uses

Tree cultivated for shade and timber. Wood rather similar to Albizia lebbeck but lighter and softer (sp. gra. 0.60 air dry weight of sapwood ca 460 kg/m3 of heartwood 640 kg/m3). The heartwood is durable even in exposed situtations. It can be worked to a good surface that polishes well. Wood is used chiefly for construction, furniture, carts and carriages, cane crushers, carvings, boats and oars, rice pounders, and, of course, fuel. In Australia, the tree is reagarded as a good cattle feed and as a sign of good country for farming sugarcane. Leaves said to be insecticidal (Kirtikar and Basu, 1975). Bark used for fish poison. The tree yields a reddish-brown gum.

Folk Medicine

Leaves are poulticed onto ulcers in India. Bark considered useful in pregnancy and stomachache. Bark given with salt as a medicine for water buffalo.

Chemistry

Bark, leaf, and root contain saponin. Hydrolysis of the saponin yields machaerinic acid. Tree contains some HCN. Leaf and fruit have given positive tests for haemolysis. A new pentacyclic triterpenic acid, procera acid, was isolated from the seed (List & Horhammer, 1969–1979). The gum contains aldobiuronic acid and the disaccharide 3-0-D-galactopyranosyl-L-arabinose. Degraded gum from Albizia procera contains D-galactose, D-mannose, D-glucuronic acid, and 4-0-mehtyl-D-glucuronic acid. Complete methylation and subsequent hydrolysis of the product afford 2,4-di-0-methyl-D-galactose (3 moles), 3,4,6-tri-0-methyl-L-arabinose. Perceragenin C30H46O4 is reported from the seed (List and Horhammer, 1969–1979).

Description

An erect, slightly pubescent or nearly glabrous tree, 10–25 m high. Leaves about 40 cm long; pinnae about 4–12, 15–20 cm long; leaflets 12–20, oblong-elliptic, rounded or retuse, 2–5 cm long, oblique. Panicles terminal or in the upper axils, up to 20 cm long, diffuse; flowers 1–1.5 across. Pod long, thin, smooth, flattened, 10–15 cm long, 2–2.4 cm broad, containing 8–10 seeds (Li, 1963).

Germplasm

Reported from the Indochina-Indonesia and Hindustani Centers of Diversity, tall albizia, or cvs thereof, is reported to tolerate drought, and stony, dry, and shallow soils. (2n = 26)

Distribution

Native to tropical Asia and Australia, now widely cultivated in the tropics.

Ecology

Ranging from Tropical Very Dry through Tropical Moist Forest Life Zones, tall albizia is reported to tolerate annual precipitation of 8.8 to 29 dm (mean of 25 cases = 16.8) and annual temperature of 24.7 to 26.3°C (mean of 12 cases 25.3).

Cultivation

Soak seed a few seconds in boiling water (removed from source of heat) and soak overnight. Directly sow seed in prepared pots (in 10–15 mm polyethylene bags) using 50:50 sandy loam:potting soil. Spray insecticides twice a month for two months and as often as necessary thereafter. Place seedlings in shade, watering at least every other day. Harden off after 3–4 months. Regulate exposure to sun and water until seedlings are hardened. Space at 3 x 3 m, marking with Stakes. Set out in early morning and/or late afternoon at beginning of rainy season, when seedlings are about 4–7 months old (Canopy, 1981). Trees are easily propagated, using seedlings or stumps (NAS, 1979).

Harvesting

Tree is cut as needed for fuel, timber, or charcoal.

Yields and Economics

Should yield about like Albizia lebbeck. In Java, annual wood production of 10 m3/ha is recorded. Trees may attain 1 m DBH at 12 years, 2 m at 30 years.

Energy

Pods and fallen leaves may be considered as undesirable litter or as potential energy sources. It seems probable that if Albizia lebbeck fruits can yield 10 barrels of ethanol per hectare, this species could do as well. The species was increased in Puerto Rico during the 1940's because it seemed "a promising rapid-growing fuelwood species for the coastal and lower mountain regions."

Biotic Factors

Wood is relatively resistant to attack by dry-wood termites. Most of the Puerto Rican introductions have suffered severely from a fungus disease which causes disback or death (Little and Wadsworth, 1964). Browne (1968) lists: Fungi. Ganoderma applanatum, Ganoderma lucidum, Nectria haematococca, Phellinus gilvus, Polyporus anebus, Ravenelia clemensiae, Ravenelia indica, Ravenelia sessiles, Sphaerophragmium acaciae. Coleoptera. Apate terebrans, Bruchidius uberatus, Sinoxylon anale, Xystrocera globosa. Hemiptera. Arytaina ramakrishni, Kerria lacca, Oxyrhachis mangiferana. Isoptera. Ancistrotermes amphidon, Coptotermes curvignathus. Lepidoptera. Archips micaceanus, Ascotis selenaria, Cusiala raptaria, Heliothis zea, Hypanartia hecabe, Hyposidra successaria, Indarbela quadrinotata, Platypeplus aprobola, Polydesma umbricola, Rhesala imparata, Rhesala inconcinnalis, Rhesala moestalis, Semiothisa emersaria, Semiothisa pluviata, triglina scitaria. Orthoptera. Schistocera gregaria.

References

Complete list of references for Duke, Handbook of Energy Crops
Last update December 19, 1997