Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Albizia carbonaria
(carbonero)

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Datasheet

Albizia carbonaria (carbonero)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 28 May 2020
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Albizia carbonaria
  • Preferred Common Name
  • carbonero
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Albizia carbonaria is a fast growing but short-lived perennial tree native to tropical Central and South America that has been introduced to South and South East Asia. It is cultivated for wood, fodder, shade a...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Albizia carbonaria; habit. Colombia. June 2014.
TitleHabit
CaptionAlbizia carbonaria; habit. Colombia. June 2014.
Copyright©Alejandro Bayer Tamayo/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Albizia carbonaria; habit. Colombia. June 2014.
HabitAlbizia carbonaria; habit. Colombia. June 2014.©Alejandro Bayer Tamayo/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Albizia carbonaria; habit, showing a large mature tree. Colombia. June 2014.
TitleHabit
CaptionAlbizia carbonaria; habit, showing a large mature tree. Colombia. June 2014.
Copyright©Alejandro Bayer Tamayo/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Albizia carbonaria; habit, showing a large mature tree. Colombia. June 2014.
HabitAlbizia carbonaria; habit, showing a large mature tree. Colombia. June 2014.©Alejandro Bayer Tamayo/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Albizia carbonaria; flowering habit. Colombia. July 2014.
TitleHabit
CaptionAlbizia carbonaria; flowering habit. Colombia. July 2014.
Copyright©Alejandro Bayer Tamayo/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Albizia carbonaria; flowering habit. Colombia. July 2014.
HabitAlbizia carbonaria; flowering habit. Colombia. July 2014.©Alejandro Bayer Tamayo/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Albizia carbonaria; flowering habit, with fruits. Colombia. July 2014.
TitleHabit
CaptionAlbizia carbonaria; flowering habit, with fruits. Colombia. July 2014.
Copyright©Alejandro Bayer Tamayo/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Albizia carbonaria; flowering habit, with fruits. Colombia. July 2014.
HabitAlbizia carbonaria; flowering habit, with fruits. Colombia. July 2014.©Alejandro Bayer Tamayo/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Albizia carbonaria; flowering habit. Colombia. July 2014.
TitleHabit
CaptionAlbizia carbonaria; flowering habit. Colombia. July 2014.
Copyright©Alejandro Bayer Tamayo/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0
Albizia carbonaria; flowering habit. Colombia. July 2014.
HabitAlbizia carbonaria; flowering habit. Colombia. July 2014.©Alejandro Bayer Tamayo/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 2.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Albizia carbonaria Britton

Preferred Common Name

  • carbonero

Other Scientific Names

  • Albizia malacocarpa Standl. ex Britton & Rose
  • Albizia sumatrana Steenis
  • Pithecellobium carbonarium (Britton) Niezgoda & Nevling

International Common Names

  • English: naked albizia
  • Spanish: muche; pisquin; quebracho

Local Common Names

  • Colombia: jalapo; pinon
  • Dominican Republic: guamá americana
  • UK/England and Wales: giant powder puff
  • USA: mimosa; silk tree

Summary of Invasiveness

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Albizia carbonaria is a fast growing but short-lived perennial tree native to tropical Central and South America that has been introduced to South and South East Asia. It is cultivated for wood, fodder, shade and erosion control. A number of other Albizia species are invasive due to their fast growth and prolific seed production, so there is a possibility A. carbonaria could also become invasive.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Fabales
  •                         Family: Fabaceae
  •                             Subfamily: Mimosoideae
  •                                 Genus: Albizia
  •                                     Species: Albizia carbonaria

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Albizia is a genus in the subfamily Mimosoideae in the Fabaceae family. Albizia includes at least 140 species with 22 species endemic to the Neotropics (Arce et al., 2008). The genus is named after Filippo Albizzi, an 18th century Florentine noble, who introduced the Persian silk tree (Albizia julibrissin) to Europe from Turkey. A. carbonaria was named by N. L. Britton in 1926 from trees from Colombia planted in the Experimental Station in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.

Albizia is morphologically similar to Pithecellobium. The separation of Albizia from Pithecellobium based solely on fruit morphology is considered questionable by Elias (1974). In the Flora of Panama (Schery, 1950), a question is raised as to the placement of A. carbonaria “On the basis of certain characters, A. carbonaria might well be considered Pithecellobium (or Samanea, if this be recognized as distinct from Pithecellobium) instead of Albizia. Yet the legume better fits Albizia”. 

Description

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Albizia carbonaria is a tree with an open, flattened, spreading crown; usually growing 4 - 15 meters tall but sometimes up to 30 meters tall. The bole can be 60cm in diameter (Sosef and van der Maesen, 1997).

The following description is adapted from Missouri Botanical Garden (2016):

 Moderate or large tree, the branchlets tomentose when young becoming glabrous, moderately lenticellate, unarmed. Leaves moderately large, bipinnate, the pinnae 7-15 pairs opposite on the rachis, the leaflets 10-25 pairs per pinna; petioles mostly 2-3 cm. long, tomentulose, nearly terete, usually eglandular; primary rachis up to 10 cm. long, similar to the petiole, bearing at the apex at insertion of terminal pair of pinnae a sessile, subcupular gland; pinnular rachis 2-5 cm. long, puberulent, usually bearing a sessile gland at insertion of the terminal pair of leaflets; leaflets opposite, oblong-subfalcate, 4-6 mm. long and 1-2 mm. wide, asymmetrically acute apically, obliquely rounded or subtruncate basally, pubescent above and more heavily so below, somewhat paler below, the costa excentric, the venation obscure; stipules early caducous. Inflorescence of several pedunculate umbels from terminal and subterminal defoliate or minutely foliate nodes; peduncles slender, up to 3 cm. long, tomentulose; bractlets linear-spatulate, caducous. Flowers briefly pedicellate, dense; calyx narrowly obconic, about 2.5 mm. long, tomentulose; corolla narrowly funnelform, about 5 mm. long, tomentose, the lobes the length of the tube; stamens about 14 mm. long, the staminal tube well included; ovary glabrous. Legume broadly linear, 8-11 cm. long and almost 2 cm. wide, stipitate, pubescent, falsely septate, the seeds transverse.

Plant Type

Top of page Perennial
Seed propagated
Tree
Woody

Distribution

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Native to tropical Central and South America, introduced into India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. It is widespread in the north area of South America (Wiersema and León, 2013).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 28 May 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

KenyaPresentIntroducedILDIS (2009)

Asia

IndiaPresentIntroducedSosef and van der Maesen (1997)
IndonesiaPresent, Only in captivity/cultivationIntroducedNielsen (1985); USDA-ARS (2016)
-JavaPresent, Only in captivity/cultivationIntroducedNielsen (1985)
-SumatraPresent, Only in captivity/cultivationIntroducedNielsen (1985)
Sri LankaPresentIntroducedSosef and van der Maesen (1997)

North America

Costa RicaPresentIntroducedCentro Interamericano de Documentación e Información Agrícola (1987)Alajuela| Guanacaste| Heredia| Sarapiqui| Limón| Talamanca| Puntarenas| Golfito| Osa San José| Vaquez de Coronado
CubaPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012); ILDIS (2009)
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012); ILDIS (2009)
El SalvadorPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden (2016)Ahuachapán| San Salvador| Santa Ana
HaitiPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
HondurasPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2016)
MexicoPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden (2016)Chiapas
NicaraguaPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden (2016)Matagalpa
PanamaPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden (2016)Canal Area| Darién
Puerto RicoPresentIntroducedNaturalizedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)

South America

BoliviaPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2016)Santa Cruz, Velasco
BrazilPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2016)Vargem Grande do Soul
-Sao PauloPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2016)
ColombiaPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2016)Antiloquia| Campamento| Cocorná| Fredonia| Medillín| San Luis| Boyacám Cauca| Paez| Chocó| Istmina| Tolima Libano. It is found in coffee growing areas of the three mountain ranges and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
PeruPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2016)Cusco| Calca| La Convención| Junín| Chanchamayo| Pasco| Oxapampa| Puno| Carabaya
VenezuelaPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden (2016)Bolívar| Mérida| Táchira| Trujillo

History of Introduction and Spread

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In Puerto Rico, seeds were obtained from cultivated plants in Colombia in 1921 by the Forest Service to test its use in forestry, and the species was disseminated over around 100 acres in the municipality of Adjuntas (Little et al., 1974; Francis, 1999).

Habitat

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Native to moist tropical forests of low to moderate elevations from 50-1250 m, with reports of specimens up to 1800 meters (Arce et al., 2008). It is found in areas where the mean annual rainfall is within the range 1600 - 1700 mm (Arce et al., 2008). It prefers a well-drained soil and is tolerant of shallow, acidic soils. The branches are brittle and can break off in strong winds (Sosef and van der Maesen, 1997). Trees can recover after a forest fire (Arce et al., 2008).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Natural
Cultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Natural
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

Albizia carbonaria has a basic chromosome number of 2n = 26 (Arce et al., 2008).

Reproductive Biology

Albizia carbonaria spreads by seeds (Mahecha et al., 2004). 

Physiology and Phenology

Flowering January, May to June, and September to November. Fruiting August to January and April (Arce et al., 2008).

Longevity

It is fast growing, but short-lived perennial tree (Sosef and van der Maesen, 1997).

Associations

This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, which 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 (Huxley et al., 1992).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Mean annual rainfall16001700mm; lower/upper limits

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid

Special soil tolerances

  • shallow

Pathway Causes

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Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Fast growing

Uses

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Economic Value

The wood of A. carbonaria is light brown and soft and reported to be suitable for lumber (Little et al., 1974). Where grown it is used as a local source of wood used for fuel and materials, for example it has been recorded as being used for making pulleys (Mahecha et al., 2004; USDA-ARS, 2016).

As well as for wood, A. carbonaria is grown for erosion control, as an ornamental, and for shade (USDA-ARS, 2016). In Nicaragua, and elsewhere in Central America, it is used in coffee plantations for shade (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2016), and it is grown as ornamental tree in Central America (Barneby and Grimes, 1996). In South East Asia it is grown to provide shade in tea plantations (Sosef and van der Maesen, 1997).

Social Benefit

Its leaves and roots are used in poultices to heal bruises and bumps (Mahecha et al., 2004).

Environmental Services
It is used as indicator of loose soil and can fix atomspheric nitrogen (Barneby and Grimes, 1996).

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Fodder/animal feed

Environmental

  • Erosion control or dune stabilization
  • Shade and shelter

Fuels

  • Fuelwood

Materials

  • Wood/timber

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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The genus Albizia is morphologically similar to Pithecellobium and is distinguished from it primarily based on fruit characteristics (Niezgoda and Nevling, 1979). 

References

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Acevedo-Rodríguez, P., Strong, M. T., 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies, Washington, DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution.1192 pp. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Arce, M. de L. R., Gale, S. L., Maxted, N., 2008. A taxonomic study of Albizia (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae: Ingeae) in Mexico and Central America. Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid, 65(2), 255-305. http://www.rjb.csic.es/publicaciones.php

Barneby, R. C., Grimes, J., 1996. Silk tree, guanacaste, monkey's earring: a generic system of the synandrous Mimosaceae of the Americas. Part I. Abarema, Albizia, and allies. In: Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden , 74(1) . 292 pp.

Centro Interamericano de Documentación e Información Agrícola, 1987. Forestry genetic resources project proposal 1988-1992. Turrialba, Costa Rica: CATIE Renewable Natural Resources Department.

Elias, T. S., 1974. The genera of Mimosoideae (Leguminosae) in the southeastern United States. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum, 55(1), 67-118.

Encyclopedia of Life, 2016. Encyclopedia of Life. In: Encyclopedia of Life . http://www.eol.org

Francis, J. K., 1999. Tree species for planting in forest, rural, and urban areas of Puerto Rico. (Especies forestales para plantar en areas forestales, rurales y urbanas de Puerto Rico). In: General Technical Report - International Institute of Tropical Forestry, USDA Forest Service , (No. IITF-13) . Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico: International Institute of Tropical Forestry, USDA Forest Service (IITF).ii + 88 pp.

Huxley AJ, Griffiths M, Levy M, 1992. The new Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening. Royal Horticultural Society (Great Britain). Vol. 4, Macmillan Press.

ILDIS, 2009. International Legume Database and Information Service. In: International Legume Database and Information Service Reading, UK: School of Plant Sciences, University of Reading.http://www.ildis.org/

Lewis G, Schrire B, MacKinder B, Lock M, 2005. Legumes of the world, Richmond, UK: Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.

Little, E. L., Jr., Woodbury, R. O., Wadsworth, F. H., 1974. Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Second volume. In: Agriculture Handbook, US Department of Agriculture , (No. 449) . xiv + 1024 pp.

Mahecha G, Ovalle A, Camelo D, Rozo A, Barrero D, 2004. Bogotá, Colombia: Corporación Autónoma Regional de Cundinamarca.871 pp.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2016. Tropicos database. In: Tropicos database St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.http://www.tropicos.org/

Nielsen, I, 1985. The Malesian species of Acacia and Albizia (Leguminosae-Mimosoideae). In: Opera Botanica , 81. 1-50.

Niezgoda CJ, Nevling LI Jr, 1979. The correct generic placement of Albizia carbonaria Britton. Phytologia, 44(4), 307-312.

Schery RW, 1950. Leguminosae subfamily Mimosoideae. In: Flora of Panama, [ed. by Woodson RE, Schery RW]. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. 184-314.

Sosef, MSM, van der Maesen, LJG, 1997. Albizia carbonaria Britton Record from Proseabase. In: Plant Resources of South-East Asia, [ed. by Faridah Hanum, I, van der Maesen, LJG]. Bogor, Indonesia: PROSEA Foundation.https://www.proseanet.org

Stevens, P. F., 2016. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 13. In: Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 13 . St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/APweb/

USDA-ARS, 2016. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. In: Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory.https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

Wiersema JH, León B, 2013. World economic plants: a standard reference. Second Edition, Cleveland, Ohio, United States: CRC Press.1336 pp.

Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
Catalogue of the seed plants of the West Indieshttp://botany.si.edu/antilles/WestIndies/results.cfm
International Legume Database & Information Service (ILDIS)http://www.ildis.org/

Contributors

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13/06/16 Original text by:

Eduardo A. Ventosa-Febles, Consultant, Puerto Rico

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