Albizia antunesiana

Botanical Name: Albizia antunesiana

Common Name: Purple-leafed Albizia, Musase, Mukese, Mukwanga, Msase, Kawizi

Plant Family: Fabaceae (Legume Family) Mimosoideae

Growth Form, Habitat and Distribution: A medium-sized to large semi-evergreen tree upward branching from a short trunk to give a light, umbrella-shaped crown. Occurs throughout Zambia in most habitats except montane and swamp forest areas; common in Lake Basin Chipya and Kalahari woodland, often on termite mounds.

The bark is reddish, vertically fissured and exuses crimson gum when damaged. The leaves are characteristically pale blue-green underneath and are asymmetrical.  It flowers from August to October , fragrant, large (up to 5cm), fluffy, white, axial, half-spherical heads, in axillary or terminal bunched heads. Pods are flat plae brown and remain on tree.

Size: Height up to 25m, often smaller, spread 6 to 10m.

Uses: A short-period “bee tree”. The roots contain a saponin and can be used as a soap. Sawdust from the wood is an irritant.