Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1
Notul. Syst. (Paris) 13(4): 335 (1948).
Mimosaceae (Leguminosae - Mimosoideae)
Origin and geographic distribution
Albizia arenicola is endemic to Madagascar, where it is widespread in the western part of the island.
The durable wood is used for poles in house construction.
Small to medium-sized deciduous tree up to 15 m tall; bark grey, usually smooth, inner bark fibrous, with sticky gum; young branches sparsely pubescent, glabrescent. Leaves alternate, bipinnately compound with 4–9 pairs of pinnae; stipules minute, caducous; petiole 1.5–2.5 cm long, in the basal half of upper side with a sessile gland, rachis 3.5–5.5 cm long, pubescent; leaflets in (2–)4–17 pairs per pinna, sessile, obliquely oblong to obovate-oblong, up to 8 mm × 4 mm, rounded at apex, pubescent on both sides. Inflorescence an axillary head on 2–4 cm long peduncle. Flowers bisexual, regular, 5-merous, greenish white, almost sessile; calyx narrowly obconical, 1.5–2 mm long, glabrous; corolla 5–6 mm long, glabrous; stamens numerous, (1.5–)2–2.5 cm long, united into a tube at base, white; ovary superior, shortly stipitate, glabrous, gradually tapering into a 2–2.5 cm long style. Fruit an oblong to broadly oblong pod 7.5–16 cm × 2.5–6 cm, with short stipe, slightly swollen, with thick and woody fruit wall, glabrous, without veins, several-seeded. Seeds ellipsoid, 10–16 mm × 4.5–8 mm, black.
Albizia arenicola flowers from August to November. The flowers are pollinated by insects such as butterflies.
Albizia comprises about 120 species and occurs throughout the tropics. Approximately 35 species are found in continental Africa and about 30 in Madagascar. It is characterized by the head-like inflorescence, with 1–2 central flowers modified, functionally male and having a larger, nectar-producing staminal tube. Molecular analyses showed that Albizia is heterogeneous, and a revision of the genus is needed.
Albizia boinensis R.Vig., a shrub or small tree up to 15 m tall with a bole diameter up to 50 cm, has thick, woody and indehiscent pods like Albizia arenicola, but it has more numerous and smaller leaflets (up to 5 mm × 1.5 mm). The wood of Albizia boinensis is used in north-western Madagascar for furniture. Albizia masikororum R.Vig. closely resembles Albizia arenicola, but differs in its smaller leaflets (up to 3 mm × 1.5 mm) produced on short shoots. The wood of Albizia masikororum is used in house building and as fuelwood in south-western Madagascar.
Albizia arenicola occurs widespread but scattered in dry deciduous woodland and scrubland up to 700 m altitude, on sandy soils and sandstone.
Genetic resources and breeding
There are no indications that Albizia arenicola is threatened by genetic erosion.
It is unlikely that the utilization of Albizia arenicola timber will increase beyond its current local importance.
• Capuron, R., 1970. Le genre Albizia Durazz. (Légumineuses - Mimosoidées). Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Antananarivo, Madagascar. 145 pp.
• du Puy, D.J., Labat, J.N., Rabevohitra, R., Villiers, J.-F., Bosser, J. & Moat, J., 2002. The Leguminosae of Madagascar. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 750 pp.
• Rabarimanarivo, M., 2000. Albizia. A Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Madagascar. [Internet] http://www.efloras.org/ florataxon.aspx?flora_id=12&taxon_id=100949. Accessed January 2007.
• Stiles, D., 1998. The Mikea hunter-gatherers of southwest Madagascar: ecology and socioeconomics. African Study Monographs 19(3): 127–148.
Correct citation of this article:
Lemmens, R.H.M.J., 2007. Albizia arenicola R.Vig. In: Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.