Albizia coriaria

Invasive species Disclaimer

In view of the fact that some tree species are invasive, the world Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) has put in place a policy document on Invasive Alien Species, currently under draft available at Here.

For more information on this subject, please refer to
100 of the World's worst Invasive and Alien Species.

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Agathis macrophylla
Agathis philippinensis
Ailanthus altissima
Ailanthus excelsa
Ailanthus triphysa
Albizia adianthifolia
Albizia amara
Albizia anthelmintica
Albizia chinensis
Albizia coriaria
Albizia ferruginea
Albizia gummifera
Albizia julibrissin
Albizia lebbeck
Albizia odoratissima
Albizia procera
Albizia saman
Albizia versicolor
Albizia zygia
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Local names:
Luganda (musisiya,mugavu), Swahili (mugavu)

Albizia coriaria is a deciduous tree 6-36 m tall. Tree crown spreading and flat, trunk often twisted. Buttresses short and blunt. Bark gray-black, rough and raggedly scaling. Young branchlets hairy.

Leaves bipinnate, pinnae 3-6 pairs, leaflets 6-11 pairs, oblong to elliptic 13-33 mm long, 5-17 mm wide, rounded at apex, subglabrous except for a few hairs on the midrib beneath.

Flowers subsessile or on pedicels 0.5-2 mm long; bracteoles minute, 1.5-2 mm long usually falling off before flowering. Calyx 3.5-6.5 mm long, not slit unilaterally, puberulous outside, with few shortly stipitate glands. Corolla 8-13.5 cm long, white and puberulous outside.

Fruit a pod 10-21 cm long, 2-5 cm wide, glabrous or nearly so, brown or purplish-brown in colour with a tapered or acute apex.

A. coriaria is closely related to A. ferruginea and distinguishing between the two species is difficult. The genus was named after Filippo del Albizzi, a Florentine nobleman who in 1749 introduced A. julibrissin into cultivation. The specific epithet ‘coriaria’ describes the leathery texture of its upper leaf surfaces.


A. coriaria is a pioneer species common in wooded grassland, woodland and thicket. Its absence in closed canopy rainforest is largely the result of its high light requirements. Its distribution range extends from West Africa through eastern, southern and parts of central Africa.

Native range
Angola, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda

Tree management

A. coriaria is a slow growing tree, recommended management practices are lopping and pollarding.

Good germination rates (30-70%) are reported for A. coriaria. No pre-treatment is necessary for fresh seed, however stored seed needs soaking. Seeds can be stored up to one year. There are about 6 000 seeds/kg. Insecticide application is necessary to ward off insects.

A. coriaria is a pioneer species common in wooded grassland, woodland and thicket. Its absence in closed canopy rainforest is largely the result of its high light requirements. Its distribution range extends from West Africa through eastern, southern and parts of central Africa.

Direct seeding is used in the propagation of A. coriaria. Seedlings and wildings are also used for the same purpose.

Poison:  Molluscicidal activity is shown by bark extracts of A. coriaria. Chemical analysis of the extracts indicates the active ingredients are tannins. However, use of A. coriaria is not recommended on large scale because of its low potency compared to Endod (Phytolacca dodecandra).

Foliage eaten by livestock.

Apiculture:  The tree is a useful source of bee fodder.

The tree is used as firewood and for charcoal making.

Timber:  The sapwood is soft but the heartwood hard and durable. Timber used for boat building, utensils and furniture manufacture.

Shade or shelter:  A good shade provider.

Medicine:  Bark is used for the treatment of menorrhagia, threatened abortion and post-partum haemorrhage. The roots and bark in concoctions with Carissa edulis and Euclea divinorum are used in treating venereal diseases or used in steam fumigation treatments for sore eyes. The bark decoction is used in treating cattle diseases and a number of abdominal problems associated with protozoan parasites.

Nitrogen fixing:  A. coriaria is nitrogen fixing.

Ornamental:  A. coriaria is a beautiful tree with bright green splashes of new foliage growth and showy flowers, commonly found in homesteads and protected in fields.

Intercropping:  A. coriaria is one of the species used in a permanent cultivation indigenous agroforestry system on the central plains of Uganda.

Other services:  Leaves used to hasten banana ripening. This tree is highly regarded culturally among the Luo of Kenya.