Samanea saman

Primary tabs

Samanea saman

Description

Tree to 25 m, with a large crown spreading to 33 m in a complete canopy, d.b.h. to at least 100 cm. Branchlets puberulous to tomentose. Leaves: Inflorescence: Seeds brown, elliptic, strongly biconvex, c. 8 by 5 by 4 mm;

Distribution

Asia-Tropical, Northern tropical South America present, all over the tropics
Native of northern tropical South America, now planted and appearing spontaneous all over the tropics; planted throughout Malesia.

Uses

The 'Rain Tree' is widely cultivated as an ornamental and together with the 'Flamboyant' (Delonix regia Raf.) belongs to the most common street trees; both are characterized by a broad umbrella-shaped crown. A good honey plant. Pods used as fodder for cattle, pigs and goats. The wood is used for furniture, general construction, boxes, crates etc., but is not durable.

Notes

During the night, and when the sky is overcast during the day, the leaves are hanging loosely down as in most other Mimosoids, hence its popular name Rain Tree. Another explanation for the name is the excretion of sugar-rich juice by extrafloral nectaries, which drops from the trees like rain.

Citation

Backer & Bakh. f. - in Fl. Java. 1963: 550
Merr. - in Enum. Philipp. 1923: 242
Benth. - in Trans. Linn. Soc. 1875: 587
Merr. - in Fl. Thailand. 1986: f. 51
Verdc., Manual New Guin. Legum. 1979: 207
Nielsen - in Fl. Camb. Laos Vietnam. 1981: pl. 19: 9-13