An Eco-sustainable World
ArborealSpecies Plant

Albizia lebbekoides

Albizia lebbekoides

Indian albizia (Albizia lebbekoides (DC.) Benth., 1844) is an arboreal species belonging to the Fabaceae family.

Systematics –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota domain,
Kingdom Plantae,
Magnoliophyta division,
Class Magnoliopsida,
Fabales Order,
Fabaceae family,
Subfamily Caesalpinioideae,
Genus Albizia,
Species A. lebbekoides.
The term is basionym:
– Acacia lebbekoides DC..
The terms are synonyms:
– Acacia lebbekoides DC.;
– Albizia julibrissin Fern. Vill.;
– Feuilleea lebbekoides (DC.) Kuntze;
– Mimosa carisquis Blanco;
– Pithecellobium myriophyllum Gagnep..

Etymology –
The term Albizia derives from the Italian botanist Filippo degli Albizzi, who in the 18th century described a species of albizia from India. Subsequently, the name Albizia was adopted as the genus for many plant species belonging to this family.
The specific epithet lebbekoides derives from the similarity of the plant with another species called Albizia lebbeck. The suffix “oides” is used in botany to indicate similarities or affinities with another species. Thus lebbekoides is a species of albizia which has characteristics similar to those of Albizia lebbeck.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Albizia lebbekoides is a plant native to an area which includes: Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia (Java, Lesser Sunda Islands, Sulawesi), Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, East Timor and Vietnam.
Its habitat is mainly that of the deciduous forests in hilly areas, on the edges of clearings, paths and streams, in climates characterized by a long dry season.

Description –
Albizia lebbekoides is a deciduous tree that grows in nature up to 40 m in height; cultivated plants, however, reach smaller heights.
The trunk is erect, with a diameter of up to 40-60 cm, with wrinkled and greyish to reddish brown bark.
The leaves are supported by a 3-6 cm long petiole; they are alternate, bipinnate, 5-15 cm long, formed by 3-8 pairs of paripinnate leaflets, 5-12 cm long, each composed of 5-30 pairs of opposite sessile leaflets, oblong with asymmetrical base, of 0,8-2 .5cm in length and 0.2-0.5cm in width.
The inflorescences are terminal or axillary and are panicles, up to 18 cm long; these are formed by dense flower heads of about 1 cm of diameter bearing 10-15 hermaphrodite sessile flowers, 0,8-1 cm long; they have greenish five-part calyx, about 1,5 mm long, and greenish-yellow five-part tubular corolla and numerous white stamens, 0,6-1 cm long, united at the base to form a tube.
The fruit is a typical oblong, flat, dehiscent legume, 7-15 cm long and 1,5-2,5 cm broad; it has a yellowish brown color and contains up to 12 seeds.
The seeds are almost circular in shape, flattened, 0.7 cm long, 0.5 wide and 0.1-0.2 cm thick, brown in color with a thin U-shaped line on the sides.

Cultivation –
Albizia lebbekoides is a plant that grows naturally in tropical and subtropical regions.
This plant can be cultivated in climates similar to those of origin, in full sun on even poor soils. The tree is used for shade in tea plantations, for soil consolidation, in reforestation and as an ornamental in street trees.
It is a plant that, like other Fabaceae, has a root system that is capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen, enriching the soil and the other plants that grow around it.
Reproduction occurs mainly by seed. This is previously scarified and kept in warm water for a day; it is to be placed then in a substratum with good drainage and kept humid at the temperature of 23-26 °C. in these conditions, germination times are 3-5 days.

Customs and Traditions –
Albizia lebbekoides is a tree that takes various names depending above all on where it grows spontaneously.
It is called: châmri:ëk, kântri:ek (Cambodia); haluganit, maganhop-sa-bukid (Philippines); kedinding, tarisi, tekik (Indonesia); h’uung, kh’aang (Laos); koko, siris (Malaysia); Anya Kokko (Myanmar); kungkur (Singapore); chamari dong, chamari pa, kang (Thailand); bản xe trắng, câm-trang, muồng trúc, song râ, xúa (Vietnam).
It is a plant also cultivated as an ornamental and appreciated for its elegant shape and showy flowers. However, it should be noted that it tends to be, outside its native range, an invasive species in many areas, including parts of the United States, especially the Gulf of Mexico region.
It has a wood, brown in color and with good characteristics, which is used in construction and to make furniture and fixtures and as fuel.
Furthermore, from the bark, rich in tannins, a dye is obtained and in the Philippines it is used to flavor a drink obtained from the fermentation of sugar cane. Locally the bark is used in traditional medicine as a remedy for colic.
From an ecological point of view, as mentioned, although it may be attractive as an ornamental tree, it is important to carefully consider the use of Albizia lebbekoides due to its invasive characteristics. Indeed, it can have a negative impact on the environment of introduction, displacing indigenous species, damaging habitats and compromising biodiversity.

Method of Preparation –
Albizia lebbekoides is a plant that is used in the food field but also in the medicinal one and as a source of wood or dyes.
In the Philippines, in the food sector, it is used to flavor a drink obtained from the fermentation of sugar cane.
The bark is instead used in the traditional medicine of the areas where it grows spontaneously as a remedy for colic.

Guido Bissanti

– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.

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Attention: The pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not in any way represent a medical prescription; we therefore decline all responsibility for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.

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