Albizia versicolor Welw. Protologue: Fl. Mchani ndovu, mkenge, mnduruasi, mduruasi Sw. Uses The wood is locally used for small boats, tool handles, mortars and other kitchen implements, containers, casks and musical instruments.
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Bipinnate Leaves to 18cm long, leaflets large. Style long. Description Previous Names: Albizia mossambicensis, Albizia versicolor var. SA Tree No. Fabaceae or Leguminosae. Pea, bean or legume family. The Fabaceae are recognisable by their fruit and by their pinnately compound Leaves. Leaves may also be simple and usually have stipules — some of which may be spinescent. Leaflets are usually entire. Flowers are bisexual and bracteate.
Regular flowers usually have sepals and the same number of petals. Irregular flowers have sepals and 5 or less petals. Stamens have anthers that have 2 pollen sacs and there are usually at least twice the number of stamens as petals — often The superior Ovary has one locule that may contain 1 or more ovules.
The Stigma and Style are simple. The single carpel develops into the Fruit, which is usually a pod. This pod dehisces on both sides and may break into segments. Seeds vary. Name derivation: Albizia — named after F. In the RSA, there are 11 indigenous species in the genus Albizia.
Conservation Status: L C. Least Concern. Assessment: W. The Crown is rounded to spreading. The tree is usually single or somewhat multi-stemmed. Young branches are a light brownish yellow. The mature Bark is grey-brown, very rough and corky. Branchlets are hairy. Photo: David Becking. Leaves The Leaves are bipinnate compound: twice pinnate and up to 18cm long.
Young leaves are a pinkish red photo Mature leaves have up to 5 pairs of pinnae which support up to 6 pairs of large leaflets. These asymmetric Leaflets may reach 6,5 x 4,5cm and are broadly hairy on both sides. Thick rust coloured hairs are present on the lower surface. The largest leaflets occur near the leaf apex. The Base tapers broadly. The yellow Midrib is situated to one side and veins are clearly visible below. Leaflet Margins are Entire with a continuous margin, not in any way indented but may be hairy.
Petiolules stalks of leaflets are present. Stipules basal appendages of the petioles are present on new leaves. Stipels secondary stipules situated at the base of a leaflet of a compound leaf are absent.
In autumn, the leaves turn yellow. Flowers On this deciduous tree, the Flowers appear with the new leaves. They are bisexual and actinomorphic Regular, symmetrical. The perianth, the calyx and corolla, are divisible into 3 or more identical sectors.
The half-spherical inflorescence has individual flowers supported by a pedicel stalk of a single flower that is up to 6cm long.
The Perianth a collective term for the calyx and corolla is biseriate calyx and corolla are in two distinct whorls. The Calyx is up to 8mm long, has 5 lobes and is gamosepalous a calyx whose sepals at least partly united.
The Corolla has 5 white Petals with a funnel-shaped base. The initially white flowers turn a pinkish yellow. The numerous Stamens are basally united into a tube. The long Filaments — up to 7cm long, are exserted sticking out; projecting beyond. They are creamy white and help to give the flower its colour. The Anthers are peltate shield-shaped and the Theca pollen sacs open upwards. There is a single Pistil a unit of the Gynoecium, the female element of the flower, composed of the Ovary, Style and Stigma.
The Ovary is stalk-less or nearly so and superior one that is free from the calyx or perianth. There is a single filiform thread or filament like Style which is longer than the stamens. The Style ends in a single Stigma.
It is glossy, reddish brown when mature and usually contains up to 6 seeds. Many young pods make an attractive site. The margins may be thickened photo Seeds are wind dispersed. The tree also grows in mixed woodland in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga e. It usually occurs close to water and on mountain slopes. The Brown-headed Parrots eat the Seeds. Elephant and antelope including Kudu browse the Leaves. The Nectar attracts honeybees. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the roots a symbiotic relationship help the tree and increase soil fertility.
It has a good grain and may have a purplish brown or black heartwood. The sapwood is white. The wood is used to make mortars.
Once dry, the wood is stable. Sawdust can cause sneezing. Wood is used for carving, furniture, drum cabinet and mortar making. It is also used as fuel and for charcoal manufacture. Seeds and pods — especially when young are crimson coloured, and are toxic to stock. Strong winds blow these young Pods from the trees. They contain methylpyridoxine, which is also found in Ginkgo biloba.
It causes a disease called albiziosis, which can be fatal. This is a serious problem. It can be treated with high doses of pyridoxine hydrochloride a vitamin B6. Old pods are less toxic. Gum is poisonous. Powdered root bark and leaves have lathering qualities and are used to make soap. Because of the toxic pods, it is best to avoid planting in areas where grazing may occur. The tree is assumed by some to be an indicator of underground water.
This is a good ornamental shade tree and the roots are not invasive. Trees grow up to 80cm per year and do best in well-drained soils. About 8 seeds have a mass of 1kg. References Boon, R. Flora and Fauna Publications Trust, Durban. Burrows, J. Trees and Shrubs Mozambique. Publishing Print Matters Pty Ltd. Noordhoek, Cape Town. Coates Palgrave, M. Struik, Cape Town. Lawrence, G.