Mugavu (Albizia coriaria)


Scientific nameAlbizia coriaria
SynonymsMugavu ; Albizia
Native distributionEast Africa, Tropical Africa
BiologyDeciduous tree ; High in between 15 – 30m ; Trunk often twisted and up to 100cm diameter ;  Crown spreading and flat ; Leaves are new growth pale bright green, bipinnate with 3-6 pairs pinnae  and 6-11 pairs of medium-large leaflets, all about equal in size to 3cm long, narrowly oval-oblong,  rounded and often wider at the base ; Bark is grey-black, rough and scaling raggedly ; Flowers are very sweet smelling, white flowers in half-spherical heads ; Fruit is flat purple-brown pods, often shiny,  14-20cm long, about 3cm wide.
EcologySlow-growing ; It is a pioneer species requiring light
HabitatIt is found at forest edges, in wooded grassland, woodland and thicket 850 – 1700m above sea level.  It will not grow in tropical forest with a closed canopy
WoodThe sapwood is soft but the heavy heartwood is hard and durable. The brown timber makes good furniture. Density is around 600 kg/m3 for a moisture content of 12%. The wood is hard and is durable, termite resistant and the timber works easily.
Application : firewood, charcoal, timber, poles, furniture, boat building, fodder, bee forage, ornamental
NTFPsRoots and bark are use for medicine ; The leaves can be used to hasting the ripening of banana
ServicesIdeal for nitrogen fixation, shading thanks to the crown
Other informationIn Uganda the tree is used as a prop for food climbers like Dioscorea, passion fruit and Taeferia. The Hima community makes beautiful milk jars from the wood.