Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1
Adansonia, ser. 2, 12(1): 150 (1972).
Papilionaceae (Leguminosae - Papilionoideae, Fabaceae)
Origin and geographic distribution
Neoharmsia baronii is endemic to northern Madagascar.
The wood is used for furniture and carts. It also serves as firewood and for the production of charcoal.
The wood is lightweight but strong.
Deciduous shrub or small tree up to 10(–15) m tall; bole up to 20 cm in diameter; bark with a thick waxy coating; twigs thick and succulent, densely shortly hairy when young. Leaves alternate, imparipinnately compound with 5–11 leaflets; stipules lanceolate, 2–3 mm long, caducous; petiole and rachis shortly hairy; leaflets opposite, ovate, 3.5–11 cm × 2–6 cm, slightly cordate at base, shortly acuminate at apex, sparsely hairy below, glabrescent. Inflorescence a terminal dense raceme 3–8 cm long, many-flowered. Flowers bisexual, papilionaceous, pendulous; pedicel with small bract near the apex; calyx bell-shaped, c. 1 cm long, slightly oblique, with rounded lobes, sparsely hairy and glandular; corolla bright scarlet red, waxy, standard broadly obovoid, 2.5–3 cm long, long-clawed at base, slightly notched at apex, wings and keel narrow; stamens 11, free; ovary superior, glabrous, 1-celled, style slightly upcurved, stigma indistinct. Fruit a linear-oblong pod 7–12 cm × 1–1.5 cm, flattened, stalked, dehiscent with 2 valves, 1–5-seeded. Seeds kidney-shaped, c. 13 mm long, flattened, yellowish.
Neoharmsia baronii flowers and fruits when it is leafless. The stems are usually hollow and inhabited by ants.
Neoharmsia comprises 2 species, both endemic to Madagascar. The genus is related to Sakoanala, which differs in the usually larger number of leaflets per leaf, cup-shaped calyx and indehiscent pods.
Neoharmsia baronii occurs in dry woodland and scrubland, often near the coast, on sandy or rocky soils over limestone.
Genetic resources and breeding
Neoharmsia baronii is classified as critically endangered in the IUCN Red list of threatened species. It has a very small distribution area in which there is much disturbance.
The emphasis of research and government policies should be towards protection of Neoharmsia baronii. Harvesting for timber and fuel should be discouraged.
• 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.
• du Puy, D. & Labat, H., 1998. Neoharmsia baronii. In: IUCN. 2006 Red list of threatened species. [Internet] http://www.iucnredlist.org. Accessed September 2006.
• Peltier, M., 1972. Les Sophorées de Madagascar. Adansonia, séries 2, 12(1): 137–154.
• Schatz, G.E., 2001. Generic tree flora of Madagascar. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 477 pp.
Correct citation of this article:
Lemmens, R.H.M.J., 2007. Neoharmsia baronii (Drake) R.Vig. ex M.Peltier. In: Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.