Albizia saman (rain tree)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Biology and Ecology
- Latitude/Altitude Ranges
- Air Temperature
- Rainfall Regime
- Soil Tolerances
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Impact Summary
- Environmental Impact
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Uses List
- Wood Products
- Prevention and Control
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
Don't need the entire report?
Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.Generate report
PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Samanea saman (Jacq.) Merr.
Preferred Common Name
- rain tree
Other Scientific Names
- Albizia saman (Jacq.) F. Muell.
- Calliandra saman (Jacq.) Griseb.
- Enterolobium saman (Jacq.) Prain ex King
- Feuilleea saman (Jacq.) Kuntze
- Inga saman (Jacq.) Willd.
- Microsphaeropsis pittospori
- Mimosa saman Jacq.
- Pithecellobium saman (Jacq.) Benth.
- Zygia saman (Jacq.) A. Lyons
International Common Names
- English: crow bean tree; monkey pod
- Spanish: samán
- French: abre de pluie
Local Common Names
- : carreto; cenízaro; cenízero; dormilón; zarza; zorra
- Bangladesh: rendi koroi
- Colombia: campano; genízaro; samaguare
- Cuba: algarrobo; algarrobo del pais
- Dominican Republic: guannegoul
- Germany: Regenbaum
- Grenada: coco tamarind; cow tamarind
- Guyana: French tamarind
- Haiti: guannegoul; samán
- India: belati-siris; guango; majhamaram; nidra-ganneru; thoongh moonjii
- Indonesia: Dutch tamarind; kihujan; mungur; slubin; trembesi
- Italy: albero delle pioggia
- Jamaica: guango
- Netherlands: regenboom
- Peru: huacamayo chico
- Puerto Rico: crow bean tree; dormilón; giant thibet; guango
- Thailand: monkey pod
- Trinidad and Tobago: coco tamarind; cow tamarind; samán guerra
- United States Virgin Islands: giant thibet; licorice
- Venezuela: campano; carabelí; coují; lara; uero
- PIFSA (Albizia saman)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
S. saman possesses some of the characters of other species known to have become invasive, e.g. prolific seeding, livestock as effective dispersers of seed, nitrogen fixation and adaptation to a variety of soil types. However, reference sources are somewhat conflicting as to the degree of naturalization and invasion, especially where it spreads on disturbed sites often in Pacific and Caribbean islands. It is also known to be present in Kenya and Malawi. Binggeli (1999) classified this species as only moderately invasive.
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Fabales
- Family: Fabaceae
- Subfamily: Mimosoideae
- Genus: Albizia
- Species: Albizia saman
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page Generic delimitation within the tribe Ingeae of family Fabaceae, subfamily Mimosoideae has long been known to present particular difficulties. This has resulted in a tumultuous taxonomic history, extreme lack of nomenclatural stability, and successive transfers of species such as Samanea saman from genus to genus (Barneby and Grimes, 1996). S. saman has been placed in no fewer than nine different genera by different authors, making this a notoriously confusing species for foresters. It has often been referred to as Pithecellobium saman or Albizia saman in recent years. A new generic system for the Ingeae, including a detailed taxonomic account of Samanea, has recently been completed (Barneby and Grimes, 1996), clarifying the identity of Samanea saman and providing a more stable classification for the future.
Samanea is a small genus of three species. S. saman is, however, sharply defined and, in most features, a stable species. The silvicultural potential of the closely related S. tubulosa and S. inopinata remains unknown.
DescriptionTop of page S. saman is a medium-sized or large tree of potentially great size, often reaching 25-30 m tall, occasionally 45 m, with a short stout bole to 2-3 m dbh and a wide, low, spreading crown, often twice as wide as the tree is high. It is a stately tree, with heavy, nearly horizontal branches and an umbrella-shaped crown. One notable old S. saman tree near Government House in Trinidad was recorded to shade approximately a hectare, and reach 50 m in height, a stem 2.6 m in diameter, with a crown diameter of 60 m (Allen and Allen, 1981; Raintree, 1987). The bark is grey-brown, rough and furrowed into ridges. A full botanical description is provided by Barneby and Grimes (1996). Leaves are large, 6-25 mm long x 3-8 cm wide, bipinnate, with 3-6 pairs of pinnae per leaf, 6-9 pairs of leaflets per pinna and large leaflets, 24-62 mm long x 10-25 mm wide. Leaflets are unequal in size, becoming larger towards the distal end of the pinnae. The new growth and leaf rachis are covered in short, velvety, tawny pubescence. The leaflets are rhombic-oblong or elliptic in shape, unequal at the base, dark olive-green, glabrous and slightly glossy above, dull grey-green and hairy below. The flowers are arranged in loose umbelliform heads, which develop in groups of 2-5 in the axils of leaves on actively growing shoots. The terminal or central flower on each head is sessile and enlarged compared to the peripheral flowers. The exposed and conspicuous stamen filaments are bright or pale pink and showy. The fruits are broadly linear, compressed pods, 10-22 cm long x 1.5-2.2 cm wide x 0.5-1 cm thick. They are green and fleshy when unripe, and turn dark blackish-brown when ripe. The thick mesocarp is filled with dry pitch-like, sweet, nutritious pulp. The pods are indehiscent and contain 5-10 mature seeds, 8-11.5 mm long x 5-7.5 mm wide.
Plant TypeTop of page Broadleaved
DistributionTop of page S. saman is extensively cultivated both within and outside its presumed natural range in northern South America and Central America. Its present-day distribution in the Americas is also in part, probably generated by seed dispersal following introduction of horses and cattle (Janzen and Martin, 1982). Its dissemination in the West Indies certainly followed the growth of the cattle industry, as shipments of cattle from Venezuela were often accompanied by bags of S. saman pods for animal feed during the voyage (Pertchik and Pertchik, 1951). This means that the true natural range can no longer be demonstrated without doubt (Barneby and Grimes, 1996). The native range recorded in the distribution table is the presumed natural range based on field observations by the author, and includes only Central and northern South America, from Mexico to Colombia and Venezuela. Streets (1962) reported S. saman being introduced to Trinidad from Venezuela before 1860, supporting this view. This is, however, contradicted in part by a number of other authorities. For example, ILDIS (2002) includes presume nativity also in Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana and Peru (though origin unknown in Ecuador), and unknown origin in mainland Central America and Caribbean islands.
Distribution TableTop of page
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.
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Planted||Reference||Notes|
|Bangladesh||Present||Introduced||Planted||Serajuddoula and et al. , 1995|
|China||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|Christmas Island (Indian Ocean)||Present||Introduced||PIER, 2002|
|India||Present||Introduced||1880||Troup and Joshi, 1983; ILDIS, 2002|
|-Andaman and Nicobar Islands||Present||Introduced||Planted|
|Indonesia||Present||Introduced||1870s||Djogo, 1997; ILDIS, 2002|
|-Irian Jaya||Present||Introduced||Planted||ILDIS, 2002|
|Maldives||Present||Introduced||ILDIS, 2002; PIER, 2002|
|Pakistan||Present||Introduced||Planted||Athar and Mahmood, 1985|
|Philippines||Present||Introduced||pre-1815||Merrill, 1912; ILDIS, 2002; World Agroforestry Centre, 2002|
|Sri Lanka||Present||Introduced||c. 1850||Streets, 1962; ILDIS, 2002|
|Thailand||Present||Introduced||Akkasaeng et al., 1989; ILDIS, 2002|
|Central African Republic||Present||Introduced||Planted|
|Congo Democratic Republic||Present||Introduced||Planted||ILDIS, 2002|
|Kenya||Present||Introduced||ILDIS, 2002; World Agroforestry Centre, 2002; Witt and Luke, 2017|
|Réunion||Present||Introduced||ILDIS, 2002; PIER, 2002|
|Sao Tome and Principe||Present||Introduced||ILDIS, 2002|
|Seychelles||Present||Introduced||ILDIS, 2002; PIER, 2002|
|Sierra Leone||Present||Introduced||Amara and Mansaray, 1989; ILDIS, 2002|
|Tanzania||Present||Introduced||ILDIS, 2002; World Agroforestry Centre, 2002; Witt and Luke, 2017|
|Uganda||Present||Introduced||ILDIS, 2002; World Agroforestry Centre, 2002|
|Saint Pierre and Miquelon||Present||Introduced||Planted|
|USA||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Hawaii||Present||Introduced||1847||Invasive||Neal, 1965; Little and Skolmen, 1989; Smith , 1998; ILDIS, 2002|
Central America and Caribbean
|Antigua and Barbuda||Present||Introduced||Planted||ILDIS, 2002|
|British Virgin Islands||Present||Introduced||Planted|
|Costa Rica||Present||Native||Janzen, 1982; ILDIS, 2002|
|Dominican Republic||Present||Introduced||Planted||ILDIS, 2002|
|El Salvador||Present||Native||Planted, Natural||ILDIS, 2002|
|Guatemala||Present||Native||Planted, Natural||World Agroforestry Centre, 2002|
|Haiti||Present||Introduced||Timyan, 1996; ILDIS, 2002|
|Nicaragua||Present||Native||Planted, Natural||ILDIS, 2002|
|Panama||Present||Native||Planted, Natural||ILDIS, 2002|
|Puerto Rico||Present||Introduced||Francis and Liogier , 1991; ILDIS, 2002|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||Present||Introduced||Planted|
|Saint Lucia||Present||Introduced||Planted||ILDIS, 2002|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Present||Introduced||Planted||ILDIS, 2002|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Present||Introduced||1860||Planted||Streets, 1962|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||Present||Introduced||Planted|
|United States Virgin Islands||Present||Introduced||Planted|
|Bolivia||Present||Introduced||Planted||World Agroforestry Centre, 2002|
|Brazil||Present||Introduced||ILDIS, 2002; World Agroforestry Centre, 2002|
|-Fernando de Noronha||Present||Introduced||Planted|
|-Rio de Janeiro||Present||Introduced||Planted|
|Colombia||Present||Native||Planted, Natural||ILDIS, 2002|
|French Guiana||Present||Introduced||ILDIS, 2002; World Agroforestry Centre, 2002|
|Peru||Present||Introduced||ILDIS, 2002; World Agroforestry Centre, 2002|
|Venezuela||Present||Native||Escalante, 1997; ILDIS, 2002|
|Australia||Present||Introduced||ILDIS, 2002; World Agroforestry Centre, 2002|
|-Australian Northern Territory||Present||Introduced||Planted|
|Cook Islands||Present||Introduced||PIER, 2002|
|Fiji||Present||Introduced||ILDIS, 2002; PIER, 2002; World Agroforestry Centre, 2002|
|French Polynesia||Present||Introduced||Planted||PIER, 2002|
|Marshall Islands||Present||Introduced||ILDIS, 2002; PIER, 2002|
|Micronesia, Federated states of||Present||Introduced||Space and Falanruw , 1999|
|New Zealand||Present||Introduced||World Agroforestry Centre, 2002|
|Niue||Present||Introduced||Space and Flynn , 2000; ILDIS, 2002|
|Northern Mariana Islands||Present||Introduced||Space and et al. , 2000; ILDIS, 2002|
|Papua New Guinea||Present||Introduced||Verdcourt, 1979; Brook et al., 1992; ILDIS, 2002|
|Samoa||Present||Introduced||PIER, 2002; World Agroforestry Centre, 2002|
|Solomon Islands||Present||Introduced||Planted||World Agroforestry Centre, 2002|
|Tonga||Present||Introduced||Space and Flynn , 2001; World Agroforestry Centre, 2002|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page S. saman was one of the first roadside exotic trees to be widely planted in many tropical countries and it is now so widely cultivated, particularly in South-East and south Asia, that it is often mistaken as native to that area. It was planted principally as a shade or ornamental tree in streets, parks and in coffee plantations. It was introduced from Mexico to the Philippines before 1815 aboard one of the annual Spanish government galleons which sailed between Acapulco and Manila between 1521 and 1815 (Merrill, 1912). Historical records also suggest an early introduction to many other countries: 1847 to Hawaii from Mexico (Neal, 1965; Little and Skolmen, 1989); in around 1850 to Sri Lanka, from West Africa (Streets, 1962); in the 1870s to Indonesia (Djogo, 1997) and 1880 to India (Troup and Joshi, 1983). The abundance, extent of naturalization and wide distribution of S. saman in many countries such as Papua New Guinea (Verdcourt, 1979), Indonesia and southern India, along with numerous records of extremely large, stately, and presumably old (>100 years) trees, are further witness to its early pantropical introduction.
S. saman is naturalized, and in the southern foothills Puerto Rico and on neighbouring Vieques, but by 1990 was only localized, occurring over less than 10 hectares (Francis and Liogier, 1991). It is described as common or weedy in several Pacific islands; American Samoa (Space and Flynn, 1999), Rota (Space et al., 2000) and Micronesia (Space and Falanruw, 1999), and common, weedy or cultivated in Niue (Space and Flynn, 2000), Tonga (Space and Flynn, 2001) and Chuuk (Space et al., 2000); and naturalized in disturbed sites in Hawaii (Smith, 1998) and Fiji (PIER, 2002). However a risk assessment conducted by University of Hawaii (see PIER, 2002), did not predict that S. saman would become a pest.
Risk of IntroductionTop of page Classification of S. saman as invasive or naturalized is ambigious among authors, and none of the sources listed provided unequivocal data on impacts of the species where introduced. A precautionary approach should be adopted therefore, with attention being paid to the similarity between the environmental/climatic character of regions where S. saman is reported naturalized and that of the proposed site of introduction. However, it is noted that this species has already been widely introduced and so any risk is likely to be associated with existing plantings. Therefore, monitoring of introduction sites for signs of invasiveness may be prudent.
HabitatTop of page The native habitat of S. saman is dry forest and grass savannah (World Agroforestry Centre, 2002), or at the margins of seasonally dry deciduous and semi-deciduous forest as well as moister evergreen woodland and savannah. In its exotic range this species commonly naturalizes on disturbed areas e.g. road verges, riverbanks, and forest areas (PIER, 2002).
Habitat ListTop of page
|Rail / roadsides||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Natural forests||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Riverbanks||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
Biology and EcologyTop of page In many respects S. saman is similar to its close relative, the ear-pod tree, Enterolobium cyclocarpum. General reviews of S. saman are provided by Streets (1962), Allen and Allen (1981), National Academy of Sciences (1979), Raintree (1987), Little and Skolmen (1989), Little and Wadsworth (1989), and Roshetko (1995).
There have been few, if any, attempts to systematically explore, evaluate and improve the genetic material used in planting of S. saman. Currently used seed sources are derived from land race material comprising, in most areas, an extremely narrow genetic base. Many early introductions are known to be from one or a few trees. For example, two seeds of S. saman were originally introduced to Hawaii from Mexico in 1847 (Little and Skolmen, 1989). No comprehensive provenance studies have been attempted although two different seed sources (e.g. Hughes and Pottinger, 1997) were collected and tested in a small number of trials. Two seed orchards comprising 46 and 50 half-sib families have been established in Honduras (Mejia, 1997). Little or nothing is known about patterns of genetic diversity in S. saman.
Physiology and Phenology
Flowering and reproductive biology of S. saman have been observed in natural populations in Central America and trees begin fruiting from an early age. Trees bear tens of thousands of small flowers during the late dry season. Pod set is low with fruit:flower ratios of <0.001 (Bawa and Buckley, 1989). S. saman is generally deciduous, but may be evergreen where planted in wet forest areas or as an ornamental in humid climates, when flowering occurs towards the end of the dry season as the tree refoliates. Tiny immature pods persist for 8-10 months before expanding, ripening and falling, nearly a year after flowering, in the mid dry season (Janzen, 1982, 1983). Pods are shed indehiscent.
Rapid early growth of S. saman on some sites, e.g. in Papua New Guinea (Brook et al., 1992), is comparable with other fast-growing legumes such as Acacia angustissima, A. auriculiformis, Gliricidia sepium, Leucaena leucocephala and Schleinitzia novoguineensis. However, most trials suggest that early growth is generally slower than commonly planted fast-growing species, e.g. Rourke and Suardika (1990) in Timor (Indonesia); Glover and Heuveldop (1985) in Costa Rica; Hossain et al. (1992) in Bangladesh; Jama et al. (1989) in Kenya; Akkasaeng et al. (1989) in Thailand. S. saman does not appear to rank amongst the fastest-growing tropical trees, and trees with a dbh of >100 cm are generally estimated to be >100 years old.
There is a hermaphroditic reproductive system (World Agroforestry Centre, 2002). Flowers are believed to be pollinated by large night-flying hawk and noctuid moths, the central, enlarged flower of the inflorescence providing nectar. Pollen is dispersed as large 32-grained polyads and the species is thought to be predominantly outcrossing (Bawa and Buckley, 1989). Flowering occurs towards the end of the dry season and the small immature pods persist for 8-10 months before expanding, ripening and falling nearly a year after flowering in the mid dry season (Janzen, 1982, 1983). There are between 4,400 and 7,700 seeds/kg. The seed coat is hard.
S. saman is a truly tropical species, intolerant of frost. It thrives in both the seasonally dry and wet tropics (Allen and Allen, 1981; Raintree, 1987; Little and Wadsworth, 1989; Djogo, 1997) but is faster-growing where rainfall is >1000 mm. A modified description of climatic requirements was prepared by CSIRO (Booth and Jovanovic, 2000). The mean annual rainfall is estimated to be 600 - 3000mm, with a dry season duration of 0 - 6 months. S. saman needs well-drained alluvial, fertile, neutral to moderately acid (>pH 4.6) soils for best growth (Franco et al., 1995), but can also tolerate heavy clays (vertisols) and infertile, or seasonally waterlogged soils. It grows from sea level of to 1500 m altitude.
S. saman has the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. Trees have been shown to nodulate effectively in Hawaii, Malaysia and the Philippines with a wide range of strains of Rhizobium (Allen and Allen, 1981).
Latitude/Altitude RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
Air TemperatureTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit|
|Absolute minimum temperature (ºC)||8|
|Mean annual temperature (ºC)||20||28|
|Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC)||24||35|
|Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC)||15||22|
RainfallTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit||Description|
|Dry season duration||0||6||number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall|
|Mean annual rainfall||600||3000||mm; lower/upper limits|
Rainfall RegimeTop of page Bimodal
Soil TolerancesTop of page
- seasonally waterlogged
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page A number of minor insect pests affect S. saman in different areas, but none of these have so far caused serious problems. Two psyllid insects, Heteropsylla cubana and Psylla acacia-baileyanae [Acizzia acaciaebaileyanae], are minor defoliators causing curling of leaves, minor defoliation, stunted shoot growth and development of numerous branches where young shoots die back (Braza, 1987; 1990; Braza and Calilunga, 1981). In the native range, S. saman resprout shoots from cut stumps often have clusters of bright red, orange and blue-black nymphs of a coreid bug feeding on the shoot tips, leafcutter ants occasionally harvest some leaves, and howler monkeys eat flowers and young leaves (Janzen, 1983). The bean maggot, Hylemya platura [Delia platura] infests cotyledons of S. saman seedlings and may kill them in nurseries in Haiti (Timyan, 1996). Seeds of S. saman in Costa Rica are predated by two bruchid beetles, Merobruchus columbinus and Stator limbatus which oviposit on the fruits as they reach full size and may kill 50-70% of the seeds (Janzen, 1977). In Costa Rica, parrots may harvest up to a third of the expanded green fruits of S. saman (Janzen, 1982).
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page In the native range, S. saman seeds are dispersed by rodents, tapirs, peccaries, cattle and horses, which eat the pods. Whenever livestock are around fruits never accumulate beneath the tree. This species has been widely planted in agroforestry systems as a shade tree leading to its intentional international distribution and it has been so widely cultivated that the precise native range is now uncertain.
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Fisheries / aquaculture||None|
ImpactTop of page The large crown and heavy branches are susceptible to hurricane damage and can be top-heavy and dangerous near houses, while the far-reaching root system can lift foundations and road surfaces, making it an unsuitable urban amenity tree (Allen and Allen, 1981; Little and Wadsworth, 1989). It can also be messy as an ornamental tree, dropping sticky flower parts and pods on parked cars (Little and Skolmen, 1989). However, there are no recorded economic impacts resulting from invasion of young trees in the literature.
Environmental ImpactTop of page There are reports of allelopathic effects caused by sap which exudes and drips from injured limbs, causing damage to grass or other understorey plants (Magnus and Seaforth, 1965), although this appears to be a localized problem. This species fixes atmospheric nitrogen and the nutritional status of soil is therefore likely to increase.
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page Invasiveness
- Proved invasive outside its native range
- Highly adaptable to different environments
- Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
- Highly mobile locally
- Has high reproductive potential
- Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
- Damaged ecosystem services
- Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
- Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
UsesTop of page S. saman has been most widely planted as a shade, ornamental and roadside tree. Its canopy, with crowns of great diameter is unsurpassed for shade in silvopastoral systems, parks or roadsides. In addition, the pink flowers add to its value as an ornamental.
The wood of S. saman is strong, durable or very durable, with a light yellow sapwood and rich dark chocolate-brown heartwood. The rich colour and beautiful but subtle grain of the heartwood, resembling black walnut (Juglans nigra), makes wood from larger trees highly prized for furniture (e.g. in Trinidad and Malaysia), panelling, decorative veneers, turnery, platters, and other handicrafts. In Hawaii and Thailand the wood is used to make the famous, albeit mis-named, 'monkey-pod' bowls. The wood is often very cross-grained, making it difficult to work when dry, though remains easy to work when green. The wood is also used for fencing, construction timber, plywood, making crates, boats, and cart wheels made from single cross-sections of the thickest trunks which are said to be very durable and were a common sight on two-wheeled oxcarts in parts of Central America (Standley and Steyermark, 1946). The wood is particularly important in Zulia State in Venezuela where it comprised >80% of the timber produced between 1982 and 1988 (Escalante, 1997). The wood also makes good quality fuelwood (Ryan, 1994) and charcoal (Roshetko, 1995). S. saman trees resprout vigorously and can be managed for fuelwood by pollarding in agricultural areas, as in the Philippines (Raintree, 1987).
The mesocarp of the pod of S. saman contains a sweet nutritious pulp which smells of honey when the pods are broken and which contains 12-18% crude protein (Chicco et al., 1973; Escalante, 1985; 1997) and is highly digestible (40% digestibility), making the pods a good source of proteins, carbohydrates and minerals for livestock. The pods, which are produced in the middle of the dry season, may equal good quality hay in nutritive value and are avidly consumed by cattle, goats pigs and other herbivores. The pods can also be dried and milled into a meal that makes an excellent animal feed, which is exported on a small scale in some South American countries. As a prime source of dry season feed and an unsurpassed shade tree, S. saman is one of the foremost trees to be incorporated into silvopastoral systems in the seasonally dry tropical zones of northern South America (especially Venezuela) (Escalante, 1985; 1997) and Central America. The leaves are not widely used for livestock fodder, but have been reported to be of high quality (Larbi et al., 1996) with 22-28% crude protein (Norton, 1994), no detectable tannins and high in vitro dry matter digestibility (Ahn et al., 1989).
The sticky sweet-flavoured pulp of the pods is often eaten by children and can be used in fruit drinks. S. saman is an important lac host plant in, for example, Thailand. It is also a good honey plant (Verdcourt, 1979; Roshetko, 1995). Although S. saman bark lacks tannin, it does yield an inferior gum (Allen and Allen, 1981).
Uses ListTop of page
Animal feed, fodder, forage
- Fodder/animal feed
- Invertebrate food for lac/wax insects
- Shade and shelter
- Soil improvement
Human food and beverage
- Honey/honey flora
- Carved material
- Miscellaneous materials
Wood ProductsTop of page
Sawn or hewn building timbers
- Carpentry/joinery (exterior/interior)
- Engineering structures
- For heavy construction
- For light construction
- Wall panelling
- Wood carvings
Prevention and ControlTop of page No information on the control of S. saman is available from the published literature.
ReferencesTop of page
Ahn JH, Robertson BM, Elliott R, Gutteridge RC, Ford CW, 1989. Quality assessment of tropical browse legumes: tannin content and protein degradation. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 27(1-2):147-156; 25 ref
Amara DS, Mansaray SD, 1989. Fast-growing trees for agroforestry in Sierra Leone. Trees for development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Proceedings of a regional seminar held by the International Foundation for Science (IFS), ICRAF House, Nairobi, Kenya, February 20-25, 1989., 58-65; 11 ref
Barneby RC, 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. Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden, 74(1):292 pp.; 79 ref
Bawa KS, Buckley D, 1989. Seed/ovule ratios and mating systems in the Leguminosae. In: Stirton CH, Zarucchi JL eds. Advances in Legume Biology. Monographs in Systematic Botany 29. Missouri Botanical Garden, St Louis, U.S.A., 243-262
Booth TH, Jovanovic T, 2000. Improving descriptions of climatic requirements in the CABI Forestry Compendium. A report for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. CSIRO - Forestry and Forest Products, Client Report No. 758
Bowen MR, Jama AI, Jama AM, Hussein IA, 1989. Field trials 1987-1989. British Forestry Project Somalia and National Range Agency. Working Paper National Range Agency British Forestry Project Somalia, No. 12, 30 pp.; 3 ref
Braza RD, Calilunga VJ, 1981. Some Philippine psyllids. Philippine Entomologist, 4: 319-360
Cable WJ, Breen JA, Taogaga T, Tacadao A, Peters A, Cahusac AB, Williams DB, 1983. Preliminary results of intercropping nitrogen fixing trees with taro (Colocasia esculenta) in Western Samoa. Nitrogen Fixing Tree Research Reports, No.1: 13-14; 2 ref
Cascante A, Quesada M, Lobo JJ, Fuchs EA, 2002. Effects of dry tropical forest fragmentation on the reproductive success and genetic structure of the tree Samanea saman. Conservation Biology, 16(1):137-147
Chicco CF, Garbati ST, Muller-Haye B, 1973. A note on the use of saman fruit (Pithecellobium saman) in pig food rations. Agronomia Tropical (Maracay, Venezuela), 23: 263-267
Corniaux C, Durand N, Sarraihl JM, Guerin H, 1996. Composition chimique et dégradabilité enzymatique et in vitro d'espèces ligneuses arbustives utilisables par les ruminants dans les parcours extensifs de la Nouvelle Calédonie. I. Typologie [Chemical components and enzyme and in vitro digestibility of woody shrubs used by ruminants in New Caledonian rangelands. I. Typology.]. Revue d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, 49(1): 60-67
Datta M, 1996. Potassium changes in soil upon incorporation of leaf prunings of multipurpose tree species in an acid soil of Tripura. Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science, 44(3): 398-401
Datta M, 1997. Growth performance and biomass production in twelve multipurpose three [tree] species in Tripura. Journal of Hill Research, 10(1): 51-56
Devarnavadagi SB, Murthy BG, 1995. Performance of different tree species on eroded soils of northern dry zone of Karnataka. Advances in Agricultural Research in India, 4: 73-77
Djogo APY, 1997. Use of Albizia species in small-scale farming systems in Indonesia. In: Zabala NQ, ed. Proceedings of an International Workshop on Albizia and Paraserianthes species. Forest, Farm and Community Tree Research Reports (Special Issue). Morrilton, USA; Winrock International. pp. 27-36
Escalante E, 1997. Saman (Albizia saman) in agroforestry systems in Venezuela In: Zabala NQ, ed. Proceedings of an International Workshop on Albizia and Paraserianthes species. Forest, Farm and Community Tree Research Reports (Special Issue). Morrilton, USA; Winrock International. pp. 93-97
Esuoso KO, 1996. The nutritive value of monkey pod (Samanea saman). Rivista Italiana delle Sostanze Grasse, 73(4): 165-168
Faridah Hanum I, Maesen LJG van der, eds. , 1997. Plant resources of southeast Asia. No. 11. Auxillary plants. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys
Fernandez E, Garcfa O, Perez J, 1988. Susceptibility of several woodland plants to Meloidogyne incognita under nursery conditions. Ciencia y Te^acute~cnica en la Agricultura, Proteccio^acute~n de Plantas, 11(1):89-97; 14 ref
Franco A, Campello EFC, Dias LE, De Faria SM, 1995. Revegetation of acidic residues from bauxite mining using nodulated and mycorrhizal legume trees. In: Evans D, Szott L, eds. Nitrogen Fixing Trees for Acid Soils. Proceedings of a Workshop, July 1994, Turrialba, Costa Rica. Nitrogen Fixing Tree Research Reports (Special Issue). Winrock International and NFTA, Morrilton, Arkansas, USA. 313-320
Hughes CE, Pottinger AJ, 1997. Albizia species from Mexico and Central America. In: Zabala NQ, ed. Proceedings of an International Workshop on Albizia and Paraserianthes species. Forest, Farm and Community Tree Research Reports (Special Issue). Winrock International, Morrilton, Arkansas, U.S.A., 57-65
ILDIS, 2002. International Legume Database and Information Service. University of Southampton, UK. http://www.ildis.org/database/
Janzen DH, 1977. Intensity of predation on Pithecellobium saman (Leguminosae) by Merobruchus columbinus and Stator limbatus (Bruchidae) in Costa Rican deciduous forest. Tropical Ecology, 18: 162-176
Janzen DH, 1982. Cenízero tree (Leguminosae: Pithecellobium saman) delayed fruit development in Costa Rican deciduous forest. American Journal of Botany, 69: 1269-1276
Janzen DH, 1983. Pithecellobium saman In: Janzen DH ed, Costa Rican Natural History. University of Chicago Press, 305-307
Janzen DH, Martin PS, 1982. Neotropical anachronisms: the fruits the gomophotheres ate. Science, 215: 19-27
Jashimuddin M, Hossain MM, Hannan MO, 1996. Time and production studies in some private sawmills of Chittagong District. Chittagong University Studies, Science, 20(2): 35-40
Kliwon S, Iskandar MI, Sutigno P, 1991. Veneer and plywood properties of nine wood species from West Kalimantan and West Java. [Sifat venir dan kayu lapis sembilan jenis kayu berasal dari Kalimantan Barat dan Jawa Barat.] Jurnal Penelitian Hasil Hutan, 9(7):268-273; English figures and tables.; 8 ref
Larbi A, Smith JW, Adekunle IO, Kurdi IO, 1996. Studies on multipurpose fodder trees and shrubs in West Africa: variation in determinants of forage quality in Albizia and Paraserianthes species. Agroforestry Systems, 33(1):29-39; 29 ref
Little EL Jr, Wadsworth FH, 1964. Common trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Agricultural Handbook, No. 249. Washington DC, US; Department of Agriculture
Mejia DA, 1997. Albizia research in Honduras: interim growth performance results for nine Mesoamerican species. In: Zabala NQ, ed. Proceedings of an International Workshop on Albizia and Paraserianthes species. Forest, Farm and Community Tree Research Reports (Special Issue). Morrilton, USA; Winrock International. 66-75
Merrill ED, 1912. Notes on the flora of Manila with special reference to the introduced element. Philippine Journal of Sciences, Botany, 7:145-208
Milián C, Bruzón N, Herrero G, Sánchez A, 1992. Trial of forest species on areas degraded by opencast mining. [Prueba de especies forestales en zonas degradadas por la minería a cielo abierto.] Revista Baracoa, 22(1):83-89; 13 ref
Muthuchelian K, 1992. Biomass productivity relative to net photosynthetic rate, ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase activity, soluble protein and nitrogen contents in ten tree species. Photosynthetica, 26(3):333-339; 20 ref
Nayak PK, Senapati SC, 1997. Evaluation of tree species under silvipastural system. Environment and Ecology, 15(4): 874-876
Neal MC, 1965. In gardens of Hawaii. Bernice Bishop Museum Special Publication 50. Hawaii, USA: Bishop Museum Press
Nitrogen Fixing Tree Association, 1989. NFTA Cooperative Planting Program. Establishment Guide. A guide to the establishment of research and demonstration plantings of nitrogen-fixing trees. Hawaii, USA; Nitrogen Fixing Tree Association. 36pp
Padma V, Satyanarayana G, Reddy BM, 1994. Effect of scarification treatments on the germination of Leucaena leucocephala, Albizia lebbeck and Samanea saman [Albizia saman]. Seed Research, 22(1):54-57; 9 ref
Pertchik B, Pertchik H, 1951. Flowering trees of the Caribbean. Rinehart, New York. 125pp
PIER, 2002. Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) (3.3). Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, Hawaii, USA. http://www.hear.org/pier
Poulsen KM, Stubsgaard F, 1995. Three methods for mechanical scarification of hardcoated seed. Technical Note 27. DANIDA Forest Seed Centre. Humlebaek, Denmark
Quirós LM, Chavarría MI, 1990. Storage and germination of seeds, and seedling development in the nursery of fourteen species indigenous to the dry Pacific region of Costa Rica. [Almacenamiento y germinacion de semillas y desarrollo de plantulas en vivero, de catorce especies forestales nativas del Pacifico Seco de Costa Rica.] Noticiero Mejoramiento Genético y Semillas Forestales para América Central, No. 5, 8-14; 3 ref
Raintree JB, 1987. The multipurpose Raintree, Samanea saman. NFT Highlights, No. 87-06. Waimanalo, USA; Nitrogen Fixing Tree Association
Ramsteck OA, 1991. Possibilities and limits of agroforestry: the example of the north-west region of Haiti. [Das Beispiel der Nordwestregion Haitis - Moglichkeiten und Grenzen der Agroforestwirtschaft.] AFZ, Allgemeine Forst Zeitschrift, 46(13):649-651
Robbins AMJ, 1986. Home-made hot-wire seed scarifier. Technical Note, DANIDA Forest Seed Centre, Denmark, No. 29, 4pp
Roshetko JM, 1995. Albizia saman: pasture improvement, shade, timber and more. NFT Highlights, No. 95-02. Nitrogen Fixing Tree Association, Arkansas, USA; Winrock International
Roshetko JM, 1997. Seed treatment for Albizia species. In: Zabala NQ, ed. Proceedings of an International Workshop on Albizia and Paraserianthes species. Forest, Farm and Community Tree Research Reports (Special Issue). Morrilton, USA; Winrock International. 37-43
Serajuddoula MD, Khan MAS, Islam MR, Shahjalal MAH, 1995. Introduction of non mangroves in raised land - a way to maintain sustainable forest on the coastal belt of Bangladesh. Pakistan Journal of Forestry, 45:163-169
Smith CW, 1998. Pest Plants of Hawaiian Native Ecosystems. University of Hawaii, USA: Department of Botany. http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/cw_smith/aliens.htm
Space JC, Falanruw M, 1999. Observations on invasive plant species in Micronesia. Honolulu, Hawaii: USDA Forest Service, 32 pp
Space JC, Flynn T, 2000. Observations on invasive plant species in American Samoa. USDA Forest Service, Honolulu, 51
Space JC, Flynn T, 2000. Report to the Government of Niue on invasive plant species of environmental concern. USDA Forest Service, Honolulu, 34
Space JC, Flynn T, 2001. Report to the Kingdom of Tonga on invasive plant species of environmental concern. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: USDA Forest Service
Space JC, Waterhouse B, Denslow JS, Nelson D, 2000. Invasive plant species on Rota, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. 10 pp
Space JC, Waterhouse B, Denslow JS, Nelson D, Mazawa TR, 2000. Invasive plant species in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia. USDA Forest Service, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, Honolulu, Hawai'i, USA
Staples GW, Elevitch CR, 2006. Samanea saman (rain tree). Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry ver. 2.1 [ed. by Elevitch, C. R.]. Holualoa, Hawai'i, USA: Permanent Agriculture Resources (PAR)
Troup RS, Joshi HB, 1983. The Silviculture of Indian Trees. Vol IV. Leguminosae. Delhi, India; Controller of Publications
Witt, A., Luke, Q., 2017. Guide to the naturalized and invasive plants of Eastern Africa, [ed. by Witt, A., Luke, Q.]. Wallingford, UK: CABI.vi + 601 pp. http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158959 doi:10.1079/9781786392145.0000
World Agroforestry Centre, 2002. Agroforestree Database. Nairobi, Kenya: ICRAF. http://www.worldagroforestrycentre.org/Sites/TreeDBS/AFT/AFT.htm
Zabala NQ, ed, 1997. International workshop on Albizia and Paraserianthes species. Proceedings of a workshop sponsored by Winrock International for Agricultural Development, United Nations Development Program/Food and Agriculture Organization Regional Forest Tree Improvement Project (FORTIP), PICOP Resources Inc., 13-19 November 1994, Bislig, Surigao del Sur, Philippines. Morrilton, USA; Winrock International, Forest, Farm and Community Tree Network (FACT Net). vii + 164 pp
Distribution MapsTop of page
Unsupported Web Browser:
One or more of the features that are needed to show you the maps functionality are not available in the web browser that you are using.
Please consider upgrading your browser to the latest version or installing a new browser.
More information about modern web browsers can be found at http://browsehappy.com/