Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1
Notul. Syst. (Paris) 14(3): 186 (1951).
Papilionaceae (Leguminosae - Papilionoideae, Fabaceae)
Origin and geographic distribution
Sakoanala madagascariensis is endemic to eastern Madagascar, where it is restricted to the coastal zone around Toamasina.
The wood is highly valued for house construction.
The wood is yellowish, with a fine texture. It can be polished well.
Deciduous small to medium-sized tree up to 15 m tall; bole up to 50 cm in diameter; bark bronzed brown, smooth, with greyish surface cracks; twigs thick and succulent, shortly hairy when young. Leaves alternate, imparipinnate with 9–13 leaflets; petiole and rachis channelled, sparsely shortly hairy; leaflets opposite to slightly alternate, oblong-elliptical to ovate, (2.5–) 3–7.5 cm × (1–)1.5–3.5 cm, rounded to truncate at base, obtuse to shortly acuminate at apex, thinly leathery, glabrous except for the midrib and margins. Inflorescence a rather lax raceme 5–23 cm long, many-flowered. Flowers bisexual, papilionaceous; pedicel with small bract near the middle; calyx broadly cup-shaped, 5–7 mm long, with rounded lobes; corolla violet, with circular standard c. 2 cm in diameter, long-clawed at base, notched at apex, wings and keel oblong, shorter than standard; stamens 10 or 11, free; ovary superior, shortly stalked, glabrous, 1-celled, style slightly upcurved, stigma indistinct. Fruit an oblong pod (4–)6–14 cm × 1.5–3 cm, flattened, with slightly wing-like margins, glabrous, indehiscent, (1–)3–5-seeded. Seeds kidney-shaped, c. 7 mm long, flattened, chestnut-brown.
Sakoanala comprises 2 species, both restricted to Madagascar. The genus is related to Neoharmsia, which differs in the usually smaller number of leaflets per leaf, campanulate calyx and dehiscent pods.
Sakoanala madagascariensis is tardily deciduous. It usually flowers on leafless shoots just after the leaves have fallen. It is reported to fix atmospheric nitrogen.
Sakoanala madagascariensis occurs in humid coastal forest on sandy soils.
Genetic resources and breeding
Sakoanala madagascariensis is classified as endangered in the 2006 IUCN Red list of threatened species. It is selectively felled for timber and the remaining fragments of coastal forest in its small distribution area are still declining.
Protection of this threatened species is badly needed and harvesting should be stopped immediately to prevent its extinction.
• 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. Sakoanala madagascariensis. In: IUCN. 2006 Red list of threatened species. [Internet] http://www.iucnredlist.org. Accessed October 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. Sakoanala madagascariensis 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.