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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Paraserianthes lophantha lophantha - Plume Albizia

I rarely see Plume albizia used intentionally as a landscape plant. Most of the specimens I see are along the highway as escaped specimens growing with Acacia. These are small trees growing to 15' with a slightly narrower spread, with greenish yellow flowers. Most commonly seen on Highway 1 heading south between Larkin Valley Rd and Buena Vista Rd in the medium. This name is new to me. I was taught the old name, Albizia distachya.



Leaves are deciduous to partly evergreen, alternate, bipinnately compound, 6-12" long, containing 7-14 pairs of compound leaflets, each leaflet with up to 40 or so tiny 3/8" long, linear to oblong leaflets with entire margins, and a small pointed tip. There is a gland on the petiole. Leaves usually glabrous, but occasionally with some small hairs.



Leaflets are about 3/8" long.



Flowers early winter to mid winter around SC. Numerous greenish yellow flowers are grouped in 4-6" long elongated clusters.  Most of the show are the stamens.



Fruit is a pod, 3-4" long, flat, drying reddish brown. Shiny black flattened seeds.



Stems slightly hairy.



Synonyms
Albizia distachya
Albizia lophantha

Misidentification:
Albiza julibrissin is similar in foliage but the flower color and arrangement of the flowers is very different.

Location:
Aptos
Highway 1 heading south between Larkin Valley Rd and Buena Vista Rd in the medium.

Santa Cruz
802 Fair St on the Handley St. side of the house.

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