Albizia tanganyicensis

Botanical Name: Albizia tanganyicensis

Common Name: Paper-bark Albizia, Mtelele

Plant Family: Fabaceae (Legume Family) Mimosoideae

Growth Form, Habitat and Distribution: A large, deciduous tree, often upward branching from a short and crooked trunk to give a rounded, open crown.  Confined to the drier southern and eastern parts of Zambia at low to medium altitudes, usually in escarpment and rocky sites, often grouped together and usually near the other escarpment “ghost tree” species, for example Sterculia quinqueloba. The bark is characteristic – Reddirsh outer bark sheds paper like skin to show distinctive smooth, whitish under bark. The flowers are greenish and fluffy with creamy white stamens August – October. Pods are glossy brown.

Size: Height up to 20m, often smaller, spread 5 to 12m

Uses: Sawdust from the wood is an irritant. Relatively easy to propagate, making a spectacular garden specimen tree – watch how the bark peels like thin tissue paper.