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Useful Tropical Plants

Falcataria moluccana

(Miq.) Barneby & J.W.Grimes

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Adenanthera falcata L.

Adenanthera falcataria L.

Albizia falcata (L.) Backer

Albizia falcataria (L.) Fosb.

Albizia moluccana Miq.

Paraserianthes falcataria (L.) I.E.Nielsen.

Common Name: Batai

Falcataria moluccana
Tree growing in Hawaii
Photograph by: Forest and Kim Starr
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Falcataria moluccana Falcataria moluccana Falcataria moluccana Falcataria moluccana Falcataria moluccana

General Information

Batai is a fairly large and very fast-growing deciduous tree with a spreading, flat crown; it can grow up to 40 metres tall[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The straight, cylindrical bole is unbuttressed; it can be free of branches for up to 20 metres and 100cm or more in diameter[
325
Title
Seed Leaflets
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://en.sl.life.ku.dk/Publikationer/Udgivelser/PopulaerPublikationer.aspx?katid={D28373CC-6EF3-4EF8-B097-6D83FABF209E}&serieid={9F1C3DB1-6E7B-4CF1-AF53-F480B0CB40EF}&sort=title
Publisher
Forest & Landscape. Denmark
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of leaflets, jointly produced by the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, focussing on seed information for a number species, but also giving a lot of other information about each plant.
,
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on any modern research into the plants.
].
Said to be the fastest growing tree in the world, it is commonly harvested from the wild for its timber, and has been extensively planted for this purpose in much of the tropics[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. One of the more important agroforestry trees, used for establishing sites and protecting the plants and soil. It is also an ornamental tree and is often planted in gardens, parks etc, although its brittle branches can be a problem in windy areas[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Known Hazards

Dust from machining may be irritating[
316
Title
Tropical Timbers of the World. Ag. Handbook No. 607.
Publication
 
Author
Chudnoff. Martin.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service. Wisconsin.
Year
1984
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on the properties of the wood of almost 400 species of trees from the Tropics.
].

Botanical References

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

Pacific area - Indonesia (Moluccas) to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Habitat

A pioneer species, occurring in primary but more usually in secondary lowland rainforest and light montane forest, grassy plains and along roadsides near the sea[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *  *
HabitDeciduous Tree
Height35.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Batai is a tree of low to medium elevations of the wetter tropics, succeeding from sea level to elevations of 1,200 metres[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It succeeds in areas where the mean annual temperature is in the range 22 - 29°c and the mean annual rainfall is 2,000 - 4,000mm, averaging 2,800mm[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It is adapted to peri-humid and monsoonal climates with a dry season of up to 4 months[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Requires a sunny position[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Trees can succeed on comparatively poor sites and survive without fertilizer[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. However, they do not thrive in poorly drained, flooded or waterlogged soils[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 8, tolerating 4.5 - 8.5[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Plants require a position sheltered from strong winds[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Batai grows so fast that it is sometimes called the 'miracle tree'. It is even mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's fastest growing tree[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. On good sites it can attain a height of 7 metres in just over a year. Trees reach a mean height of 25.5 metres and a bole diameter of 17cm after 6 years, 32.5 metres high and 40.5cm diameter after 9 years, 38 metres high and 54cm diameter after 12 years, and 39 metres high and 63.5cm diameter after 15 years[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Trees may flower when as young as 3 years[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Two flowering periods per year have been observed in some areas[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Ripe pods appear approximately 2 months after flowering. The pods dehisce when ripe, often when still attached to the tree, scattering the seeds on the ground[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Trees are sensitive to fire[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The tree responds to coppicing, although coppicing vigour is highly variable[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Batai is commonly used in agroforestry systems, usually in a cutting cycle of 10 - 15 years, in combination with annual crops in the 1st year and grazing animals in subsequent years[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Growth of young trees in a phosphorous-deficient soil is promoted by inoculation with mycorrhizal fungi Gigaspora margarita and Glomus fasciculatum in combination with Rhizobium.

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

An extract of the dried bark is used to bathe tropical ulcers[
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on any modern research into the plants.
].

An extract of the entire plant in water is drunk in order to induce sleep and to treat venereal diseases[
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on any modern research into the plants.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Pure stands give a good protective cover to prevent erosion on slopes and are recommended in the Philippines for this purpose on catchment areas sheltered from typhoons[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The tree is extensively planted in Southeast Asia as a shade and nurse crop for coffee, cocoa, tea, other crops and young timber plantations. Its fast growth and good shading properties outweigh the disadvantages of its sensitivity to strong winds and its relatively short life[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Plantations have been established even on tailings left after tin mining[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It is planted extensively for reforestation and reforestation of denuded and eroding land[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The natural drop of leaves and small branches contributes nitrogen, organic matter and minerals to upper layers of soil[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The plant’s extensive root system further improves soil conditions by breaking up soils to provide channels for drainage and aeration[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Other Uses

The bark has tanning properties[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

The heartwood is a light brown with a slight pinkish or yellowish tinge; it is not clearly demarcated from the sapwood. The texture is rather coarse; the grain usually deeply interlocked; sometimes lustrous; dried material is free of any distinctive odour or taste. The wood is soft, not durable and is vulnerable to attack by termites and powder-post beetles; it stains rather rapidly. It dries rapidly with little or no degrade; once dry it is fairly stable in service. The wood is reported to dull cutters rather quickly; fuzzy grain is rather common because of tension wood; it saws well, but growth stresses often cause pinching of the blade; sharp tools are required to cut the soft wood cleanly. The comparatively soft timber is suitable for general utility purposes, such as light construction, furniture, cabinet work, lightweight packing materials and pallets, and chopsticks. Because the wood is fairly easy to cut, it is also suitable for wooden shoes, musical instruments, toys and novelties, forms and general turnery. It is an important source of veneer and plywood and is very suitable for the manufacture of particleboard, wood-wool board and hardboard and has recently been used for block board. The trees coppice fairly well, an advantage for pulpwood production. The wood is suitable for pulping and papermaking. It can be used to produce good-quality pulp by mechanical, semi-chemical or chemical processes. Because of its light colour, only a little bleaching is required to achieve good white paper. The neutral, semi-chemical process produces pulp with excellent strength properties. It has also been used for the manufacture of viscose rayon[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
316
Title
Tropical Timbers of the World. Ag. Handbook No. 607.
Publication
 
Author
Chudnoff. Martin.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service. Wisconsin.
Year
1984
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on the properties of the wood of almost 400 species of trees from the Tropics.
].
Widely used for fuel wood and charcoal production in spite of its low density and energy value[
325
Title
Seed Leaflets
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://en.sl.life.ku.dk/Publikationer/Udgivelser/PopulaerPublikationer.aspx?katid={D28373CC-6EF3-4EF8-B097-6D83FABF209E}&serieid={9F1C3DB1-6E7B-4CF1-AF53-F480B0CB40EF}&sort=title
Publisher
Forest & Landscape. Denmark
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of leaflets, jointly produced by the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, focussing on seed information for a number species, but also giving a lot of other information about each plant.
].

Propagation

Seed - untreated seeds germinate irregularly; germination may start after 5 - 10 days but is sometimes delayed for up to 4 weeks[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. To hasten and ensure uniform germination, add a small quantity of almost boiling water to the seed. The quantity of water should not be too great to ensure that it cools down without cooking the seed. Then soak the seed in warm water for 12 - 24 hours prior to sowing. Germination rates can be as high as 80% to almost 100%[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The seed is usually sown by broadcasting on a seedbed, pressing it gently into the soil and then covering it with a layer of fine sand up to 15mm thick. The soil in the seedbed must be loose and well drained; application of a surface layer of mulch is advisable, and excessive shading should be avoided[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Seedlings can be transplanted when they have reached a height of 20 - 25cm with a woody stem and a good fibrous root system; this stage can be reached in 8 - 11 weeks. Container plants are often transplanted into the field when 4 - 5 months old[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Small seeds are difficult to collect from the ground and are usually collected by cutting down branches bearing ripe, brown pods.
Seed storage behaviour is orthodox. There is no loss in viability during 1.5 years in air-dry storage at 4-8 deg. C. For storage, seeds are air dried for 24 hours and then packed in polythene bags. When stored at 4-8 deg. C, the germination rate after 18 months may still be 70-90%[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

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