Albizia amara

Botanical Name:  Albizia amara (Roxb.) Biovin

Synonym:                     Albizia sericocephala Benth.

Common Name:        Fine-leaved Albizia              

Plant Family:              Mimosoideae

Origin:                          Africa

References:                  Coates Palgrave p. 257, Storrs p. 205-206. S.A. No. 149, Zimb. No. 173


Description:  A shapely, spreading, deciduous tree with grey-brown, fissured bark. Large, bipinnate leaves (8-20cm), with 40 to 45 pairs of small (4mm) pale green leaflets, giving a feathery appearance. Flower a sweet-smelling white ball appearing with new leaves. The fruit is a stout, woody, straight, yellow-brown pod (up to 15cm), with distinct valves. The pod is largely indehiscent.

Features of Particular Interest:  Flat-topped tree shape and flowers.

Height and Spread:  8m – 12m high, 4m – 8m spread.

Periods of Interest:   

Leaf:  September to May.

Flowering:  August to October.

Fruiting:  November to June.

Bark:  All year round.


Soil and Moisture:  A. amara occurs in a variety of soils. Plant in full sun or semi shade and water regularly. It is drought resistant.

Aspect:  Enjoys an open aspect.

Hardiness:  Apparently tolerant of dry and sunny conditions once established.

Maintenance and Pruning:  None required.

Propagation:  A. amara is relatively easy to germinate. The seed should be planted with a light sand/soil cover and watered regularly. Transplant into larger bags when several leaf have appeared.

Problems and Drawbacks: Roots not known to be intrusive, but it will lose its leaves in winter, so do not plant near swimming pools.

Use and Associated Planting: Spreading canopy makes a good specimen tree in large garden or shade tree on farm.