Albizia lebbek (L.) Benth.
East Indian Walnut, Siris Tree, Kokko
Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.
- Folk Medicine
- Yields and Economics
- Biotic Factors
A fast growings nitrogen-fixing, heavy shade tree, recommended for
reforestation and firewood plantations. Often planted as an avenue tree or as
shade for coffee and tea. The wood is hard and strong, resembling walnut, and
non siliceous. It produces a sawdust that may cause sneezing. Specific
gravity 0.61; Air Dry Weight 39 lb/cu ft (ca 630 kg/cu m). The heartwood
calorific value is 5,166 cals. Strong and elastic, the wood is used for
cabinet wood, furniture and veneer, and serves well as firewood. The burr wood
is prized for veneer. Bark has served for tanning. Foliage can be used as
fodder. In the Sudan, goats eat fallen leaves and flowers. Bark containing
saponin can be used in making soap, and containing tannin, can be used for
tanning; used e.g. in Madras to tan fishing nets. It produces a gum which can
be sold deceitfully as gum arabic. Host of the lac insect.
According to Hartwell (19671971), the tree is used in folk remedies for
abdominal tumors, in bolmes, enemas, ghees or powders. Reported to be
astringent, pectoral, rejuvenant, and tonic, the siris tree is a folk remedy
for boils, cough, eye ailments, flu, and lung ailments. The seed oil is used
for leprosy, the powdered seed to scrofulous swellings. Indians use the
flowers for spermatorrhea.
According to Roskoski et al (1980), studying Mexican material, the seeds
contain 9.47% humidity, 3.57% ash, 33.60% crude protein, 3.13% crude fat,
13.17% crude fiber, 35.30% carbohydrates with a 78.25% in vitro digestibility.
The pods contain 6.99% humidity, 5.47% ash, 17.86% crude protein, 2.6% crude
fat, 45.08% crude fiber, and 22.00% carbohydrates with a 76.56% in vitro
digestibility. The foliage contains 3.57% humidity, 7.06% ash, 28.87% crtide
protein, 5.42% crude fat, 31.75% crude fiber, 23.33% carbohydrates, and 83.55%
in vitro digestibility. Prohibitive levels of toxic compounds were not
detected in any of the plant parts analyzed. Gohl (1981) tabulates the
following nutritive data:
Nutritive Data On Albizia lebbek (Gohl, 1981)
| || ||As % of dry matter
| ||DM ||CP ||CF ||Ash ||EE ||NFE ||Ca ||P
|Fresh leaves, India ||39.6 ||18.1 ||26.5 ||8.0 ||4.7 ||42.7 ||2.02 ||0.14
|Fresh leaves, Pakistan ||31.7 ||22.0 ||26.5 ||7.0 ||10.0 ||34.5 ||1.84 ||0.20
|Pods, Thailand ||91.5 ||21.1 ||23.0 ||4.6 ||4.6 ||46.7 || ||
Seeds have yielded 5.36.8% fixed oil or fat, the endosperm 11%. The
oil contains 9.6% stearic, 10.9% arachidic, 39.3% oleic, and 32.9% linoleic
acid (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk, 1962). Bark contains 515% tannin (leaves
contain ca 4%) and saponins. The saponin from the seed yields oleanolic acid
and albizziagenin. Wood workers have reported upper respiratory problems
following involvement with this species (Mitchell and Rook, 1979).
| || ||Digestibility (%)|
| ||Animal ||CP ||CF ||EE ||NFE ||ME |
|Leaves ||Zebu ||64.5 ||62.2 ||44.6 ||37.6 ||1.84|
Deciduous tree to 30 m tall, with a dense shade-producing crown. Bark
smoothish, light whitish or greenish gray. Leaves alternate, twice compound,
with 24 pairs of pinnate pinnae, each with 410 pairs of leaflets, the
ultimate leaflets entire, arcuate, oblong. Flowers white, with greenish
stamens, in clusters resembling a white powder puff. Pods flat, reddish brown,
several seeds, often rattling in the breeze. In Puerto Rico, flowers April to
September, fruiting year-round, the fruits more prominent probably in the dry
Siris tree, or cvs thereof, is reported to tolerate alkalinity, some
drought, laterite, very light frost, saltspray, and sand (2n = 26).
According to the NAS (1980) this is native to tropical Africa, Asia, and
northern Australia, widely planted and naturalized throughout the tropics.
Ranging from Tropical Thorn to Tropical Wet through Subtropical Thorn to
Wet Forest Life Zones, siris tree is reported to tolerate annual precipitation
of 4.8 to 23.4 dm (mean of 17 cases = 14.6) and annual temperature of 23.3 to
26.6°C (mean of 12 cases = 25.5) (EBL computer printout).
Immerse seed in boiling water, cool; soak for 24 hours, sowing in loam
in wrapped pots 10 x 15 mm. Move seedlings to partial shade, watering and
spraying as needed. Harden off for 23 months. Outplant at 3 x 3 or 4 x 4 m
when at least 30 cm tall, at beginning of rainy season (Fabian, 1981).
Trees coppice well.
Studying Mexican material, Roskoski et al (1980) concluded that there
were 8.60 (+/- 3.5) moles N2 fixed per gram of nodule per hour, about 1/3 the
hourly rate of Acacia pennatula, whose N2 fixation rate was pegged at 34
Curtis and Duke (1982) report wood yields of 5 m3/ha/yr, but Webb et al.
(1980) report yields of 1828 m3. Krishnamurti (1974), suggesting the tree as
a new alcohol source, notes that the ripe fruit has been found to contain 15%
moisture, 17% reducing sugar, and 38% total reducing sugar as glucose. One
hundred grams fruit crushed and fermented whole with addition of water and a
pure culture of distillery yeast, gave a net yield of 20.5 cc of absolute
alcohol, 82% of the theoretical yield, corresponding to about 170 liters
alcohol per MT. With fruit yields of 10 MT possible, that suggests a renewable
yield of 1,700 liters per hectare, or more than 10 barrels from the fruits
Left standing or as logs, the timber is subject to borer and fungal
attack (C.S.I.R., 19481976). Sapwood is liable to borer and termite attack,
but is immune to dry rot (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk, 1962). Browne (1968)
lists: Viruses. Albizia Mosaic Virus. Fungi. Ascochyta sacardiana,
Camptomeris albizziae, Clitocybe tabescens, Fomes noxius, Fomes robiniae,
Ganoderma lucidum, Helminthosporium albiziicolum, Irpex flavus, Nectria
ditissima, Phellinus gilvus, Ravenelia sessilis, phaerophragmium acaciae, Uredo
ngamboensis. Angiospermae. Cuscuta reflexa, Loranthus sp. (?),
Tapinanthus sp. Coleoptera. Amblyrrhinus poricollis, Apate
terebrans, Batocera rufomaculata, Bruchidius uberatus, Bruchus pisorum,
Caryedon serratus, Trachys bali, Xystrocera globosa. Hemiptera.
Drosicha stebbingi, Eurybachys tomentosa, Halys dentatus, Kerria lacca,
Oxyrhachis tarandus, Parlatoreopsis chinensis, Parthenolecanium persicae,
Rastrococcus iceryoides. Lepidoptera. Eriboea athamas, Hypanartia
blanda, Orgyia postica, Pandesma quenavadi, Rhesala imparata, Rhesala
moestalis, Sataspes infernalis, Stathmopoda basiplectra. Mammalia.
Lepus nigricollis. Nematoda. Meloidogyne javanica, M. sp.,
Complete list of references for Duke, Handbook of Energy Crops
- Browne, F.G. 1968. Pests and diseases of forest plantations trees.
Clarendon Press, Oxford.
- C.S.I.R. (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research). 19481976. The wealth
of India. 11 vols. New Delhi.
- Curtis, C.R. and Duke, J.A. 1982. An assessment of land biomass and energy
potential for the Republic of Panama. vol. 3. Institute of Energy Conversion.
- Fabian, V.I., Jr. 1981. Planting guides. Canopy International 7(8):12.
- Gohl, B. 1981. Tropical feeds. Feed information summaries and nutritive values.
=FAO Animal Production and Health Series 12. FAO, Rome.
- Hartwell, J.L. 19671971. Plants used against cancer. A survey. Lloydia 3034.
- Krishnamurti, B.G. 1974. Rain tree fruita new raw material for alcohol.
Current Science 43:700.
- Mitchell, J.C. and Rook, A. 1979. Botanical dermatology. Greenglass Ltd.,
- N.A.S. 1980a. Firewood crops. Shrub and tree species for energy production.
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC.
- N.A.S. 1980b. Proceedings international workshop on energy survey methodologies
for developing countries. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
- Roskoski, J.P., Gonzalez, G.C., Dias, M.I.F., Tejeda, E.P., and Vargas-Menay
Amezcua. 1980. Woody tropical legumes: potential sources of forage, firewood,
and soil enrichment. p. 135155. In: SERI: Tree crops for energy co-production
on farms. SERI/CP-622-1086. USGPO. Washington.
- Watt, J.M. and Breyer-Brandwijk, M.G. 1962. The medicinal and poisonous plants
of southern and eastern Africa. 2nd ed. E.&S. Livingstone, Ltd., Edinburgh
- Webb, D.E., Wood, P.J., and Smith, J. 1980. A guide to species selection for
tropical and sub-tropical plantations. Tropical Forestry Papers 15. CFI,
Last update December 19, 1997