Falcataria moluccana – Moluccan Albizia
Scientific Name: Falcataria moluccana
Synonyms: Adenanthera falcataria, Albizia falcata, A. falcataria, A. moluccana, Paraserianthes falcataria
Common Names: Moluccan Albizia, Molucca Albizia, Peacocksplume, Batai, Bataiwood, Moluccan Sau
Growth Habit: Tree
Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized wood and agroforestry tree is native to Indonesia (the Moluccas), Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands.
Flower Color: Creamy white, light yellow to greenish yellow
Height: Up to 130 feet (40 m) tall
Description: The flowers have numerous brushlike stamens and are in panicles at the branch tips. The flowers are followed by flat, green ripening to brown, strap-shaped bean pods with brown, disk-shaped seeds. The leaves are large, alternate, dotted with extrafloral nectaries (nectar glands), and bipinnate with small, green, elliptic, somewhat sickle-shaped leaflets. The bark is smooth to slightly warty and grayish cream in color, while the younger branches are greenish to reddish brown. The trees quickly grow to be very large and have a gracefully branched, wide-spreading form. The wood is light and brittle, and falling branches are a real hazard, especially since these huge trees can have branches that are themselves the size of an average-sized tree. Removal of these large, damage-prone trees can be very expensive.
Here in Hawaii, Moluccan Albizia grows mainly in wet to mesic (moderately wet) lowland areas, where it can be quite weedy and invasive. These fast-growing trees can be used for wood, nitrogen soil enrichment, and as high shade for coffee plantations.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Fabaceae – Pea family
Genus: Falcataria (I.C. Nielsen) Barneby & Grimes – peacocksplume
Species: Falcataria moluccana (Miq.) Barneby & Grimes – peacocksplume
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