Albizia versicolor Welw. ex Oliv.

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Albizia versicolor

Photo: Meg Coates Palgrave
Byo-Vic Falls Rd, Lambo River

Albizia versicolor

Photo: Meg Coates Palgrave
Byo-Vic Falls Rd, Lambo River

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Synonyms: Albizia mossambicensis Sim
Common names: Poison-pod albizia (English)
Status: Native
Medium to large deciduous tree, often with a spreading crown. Bark greyish-brown, rough; young branchlets hairy. Leaves with 1-4 pairs of pinnae; leaflets in 3-5 pairs per pinna, large, c. 5.5 × 3 cm, broadly ovate, leathery, hairy on both sides; petiole with a gland just above the base. Flowers in large, fluffy, semi-spherical heads, creamy-white, appearing with the young leaves; stamens up to 7 cm. Pods hairless, reddish-brown up to 27 × 6 cm.
Notes: The pods contain a toxin called tetramethoxypyridoxine. It causes a disease known as albiziosis. Poisoning usually occurs in late winter when pods are blown off the trees and ingested by animals. It results in a variety of neurological symptoms progressing to death.
Source: Roy Wakefield
Derivation of specific name: versicolor: from Latin: verso meaning to keep turning and colorem, colour, referring to the change in colour of the new leaves which are pinkish-red.
Habitat: In a variety of open woodland habitats.
Altitude range: Up to 1550 m
Flowering time:Oct - Nov
Worldwide distribution: From DRC to Kenya and South to KwaZulu-Natal and Angola.
Malawi distribution: N,C,S
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Biegel, H.M. (1977). Check-list of ornamental plants used in Rhodesian parks and gardens. Rhodesia Agricultural Journal. Research Report No. 3. Page 20.

Brenan, J.P.M. (1970). Mimosoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(1) Pages 117 - 118. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 228. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 4.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 3.

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Pages 128 - 129. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 215.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 240.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 45.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 61.

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 26.

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 16. as Albizzia versicolor

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 94.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 210.

Other sources of information about Albizia versicolor:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Albizia versicolor
Flora of Caprivi: Albizia versicolor
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Albizia versicolor
Flora of Mozambique: Albizia versicolor
Flora of Zambia: Albizia versicolor
Flora of Zimbabwe: Albizia versicolor
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Albizia versicolor

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Albizia versicolor
African Plant Database: Albizia versicolor
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Albizia versicolor
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Albizia versicolor
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Albizia versicolor
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Albizia versicolor
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Albizia versicolor
JSTOR Plant Science: Albizia versicolor
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Albizia versicolor
Plants of the World Online: Albizia versicolor
Tropicos: Albizia versicolor
Wikipedia: Albizia versicolor

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Albizia versicolor., retrieved 13 June 2024

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