Mugavu (Albizia coriaria)


Scientific nameAlbizia coriaria
SynonymsMugavu ; Albizia
Native distributionEast Africa, Tropical Africa
BiologyIt is a deciduous tree with a height between 15-30m. The trunk is often twisted and up to 100cm diameter. The crown is flat and spreading and the new leaves are growing pale bright green, narrowly oval-oblong, rounded and often wider at the base. The bark is grey black, rough and scaling raggedly. The fruit is flat purple brown pods, often shiny, 14-20cm long, about 3cm wide. The flowers are very sweet smelling, white flowers in half spherical heads.
EcologyIt is a slow growing species and 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 a 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 used for medicine and the leaves can be used to hasten the ripening of banana.
ServicesIdeal for shading thanks to the crown.
Other informationIn Uganda the tree is used as a prop for food climbers like yams and passion fruit. The Hima community makes beautiful milk jars from the wood.