Albizia can be deciduous trees, shrubs or climbers, with attractive bipinnate leaves with tiny leaflets, and flower heads composed of many small flowers with prominent stamens. This species is globally distributed in Indo-Malesia. Within India, it is distriubted in the sub-Himalayan tracts and slopes, and valleys up to 1500 m, West Bengal, Assam, Peninsular India, but it is not so common in northern, western and central India.
Common name: silk tree
Height: Upto 30 to 40 feet
Difficulty level: Easy
Planting & Care
Albizia odoratissima is a medium sized tree to 22(-40) m tall, diameter 120-150 cm, and a short trunk. Bark dark grey to light brown with horizontal lenticels. Crown spreading, relatively dense with drooping foliage. Branching habit uniform, but irregularities occur when the tree is damaged.
Sunlight: Full sun
Soil: It will tolerate a wide range of soil types, but does best on moist, well-drained, loamy soils.
Water: It tolerates hot humid conditions, but does not tolerate water-logging.
Temprature: Tolerates a wide range of temperature but grows best in areas where the mean annual temperature is in the range 22 - 33°c
- Black siris can be grown in the tropics and subtropics at elevations from sea level to 1,500 metres, where it tolerates a wide range of temperatures and rainfall.
- It grows best in areas where the mean annual temperature is in the range 22 - 33°c, though in its natural range the maximum shade temperature varies from 37 - 50°c and the minimum from 0 - 15°c.
- It prefers a mean annual rainfall between 650 - 3,000 mm and normally experiences a 4 - 5 month dry season.
- Seedlings and young trees are susceptible to frost.
- Grows best in fertile soils.
- Requires a well-drained soil and a position in full sun or light shade.
- Young trees require some shade.
- Established trees are drought resistant.
- Prefers a pH in the range 5.
- 5 - 6.
- 5, tolerating 4.
- 5 - 7.
- The tree grows sporadically in both dry and moist deciduous forest zones.
- Under tropical conditions the species is not gregarious.
- It tolerates hot humid conditions but not water logging.
- On good sites 5-year-old trees can be 5 metres in height and the trunk 14 cm in diameter.
- A mean annual diameter increment of 1.
- 3 cm has been recorded for this species.
- Trees coppice well, new shoots reaching a height of 3 metres in 2 years after being cut down.
- Plants are susceptible to fire, resistant to weed competition and drought.
- They regenerate naturally in sheltered areas with good soil.
- This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen.
- Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.
The tree produces an insoluble gum which is mixed with other gums and used as an extender.
A brown dye is obtained from the wood.
The heartwood of mature trees is a beautiful dark brown colour. The wood is hard, close-grained, 20 - 40% stronger than teak.
A premium quality wood, it is suitable for panelling and furniture.
It is also used for carts, wheels, farm implements and construction timbers.
A valuable fuel wood, dead and defective branches from shade trees are a major source of fuel.
- The bark is used in the manufacture of a fermented sugar cane wine, known as basi , and consumed in the Philippines.