Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English:West African albizia Ateso: Ebatat Kwamba: Bulera Luganda: Mulongo, nongo Lugwere: Mulongo, nongo Lugishu: Chiruku, komusovio Lugwere: mulongo, nongo Luo J: Bedo Lusoga Mulongo, nongo Rukonjo: Nkwasi Runyankore: Musebega Runyoro Mulongo, nongo Rutoro: Mulongo, nongo Sebei: Swessu.

+ Tree Species

Albizia zygia

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

West African albizia is native to Uganda. It's widespread in Tropical Africa from Senegal to the Sudan and into Zaire, found in lowland rain forest, riverine forest and woodlands. It is also found in thickets and on forest edges in most areas of the wetter savannah of Uganda, 915-1,370 m. In Kampala, this tree can be found at Makerere university, Uganda Golf course club, Ridgeway drive, Nakasero road among other places.

+ Description

A deciduous tree, usually 20 m (9-30 m) with a spreading crown of layered foliage, the trunk often crooked.

BARK: smooth when young, mature trees with thick brown bark, scaly or cracked. When cut the outer layer looks like orange peel. Young branchlets not densely hairy (as in A. grandibracteata).

LEAVES: Bi-pinnate, usually with 3 clear pairs of pinnae (3-5) and 2-5 pairs, leaflets on stalks about 9 cm long. The end leaflets longest, 3-7 cm, and the basal leaflets are the smallest, 1 cm. Leaflets are widest at the tip, usually blunt (pointed in A. grandibracteata). Young leaflets have narrow, leafy stipules at the base (round in A. grandibracteata).

FLOWERS: In half-spherical heads about 2 cm across with differently colored male and female flowers, white-pink, the red stamen tubes hanging out 1-2 cm beyond the corolla.

FRUIT: Flat, papery, dull orange-red-brown pods about 10 x 2 cm (up to 18 x 4 cm) containing 9-12 oval flat seeds about 1 cm across.

+ Uses

Edible: young leaves are cooked as a vegetable or added to soups and sauces, gum from the bark is used in the food industry as a stabilizer in the preparation of foods such as ice cream. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Albizia+zygia

Medicine: bark, ground roots, and leaves. hhttp://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Albizia+zygia

Agroforestry: provides shade in plantations of crops such as cocoa and coffee, used as a support for yam plants, provides leaf litter which acts as a mulch and improves the pH in acidic soils, fixes atmospheric nitrogen, makes it a useful species for soil improvement, protects vulnerable soils from erosion, foliage is a source of fodder to animals, provides bee forage, provides shelter, shade and serves as a windbreak.

A resin called 'nongo gum' is obtained from the stem.

The bark contains tannins.

Provides timber which is used for indoor construction, light flooring, furniture, canoes, implements (e.g. pestles, hoe-handles), carving, veneer and plywood. It is also suitable for joinery, interior trim, ship and boat building, vehicle bodies, toys and novelties, turnery, boxes, crates, matches, hardboard and particle board.

The wood pulp is suitable for paper production.

The wood is used as firewood and for charcoal production.

An ornamental tree.

+ Propagation

Seeds, wildings, root cuttings.

+ Management

Fast-growing; pollarding, coppicing.

+ Remarks

Farmers preserve this tree in fields as a host for climbing vines, e.g. yams. It does not compete with food crops. It is a useful timber for indoor construction work and furniture but is not termite proof or durable out of doors.

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