Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Caesalpinia sappan
L., Fabaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

Chamorro: sibukao

Chinese: su mu

English: Brazilwood, Indian redwood, sappan, sappanwood

French: bois de sappan, campêche sappan

Habit:  shrub/tree

Description:  "Caesalpinia sappan is a small to medium-sized, shrubby tree, 4-8(-10) m tall; trunk up to 14 cm in diameter; bark with distinct ridges and many prickles, greyish brown; young twigs and buds hairy, brownish. Leaves stipulate, bipinnate, alternate, 20-45(-50) cm long, 10-20 cm broad, with 8-16 pairs of up to 20 cm long pinnae; pinnae with prickles at the base and with 10-20 pairs of oblong, 10-20 mm x 6-10 mm long, subsessile leaflets, very oblique at base, rounded to emarginated at apex. Flowers in terminal panicles, racemes pubescent, primary peduncles 30-40 cm long, the flowering 9-15 cm long, bracts ovate-acuminate, about 6 mm long, flowers fragrant, 2-3 cm long, 5-merous; sepals glabrous, petals pubescent, the superior one smaller; calyx tube 3 mm long; corolla yellow, uppermost lobes cuneate, other obovate, all clawed and gland-punctate; stamens 10, filaments densely tomentose in the lower half; ovary superior, pubescent. Fruit a dehiscent pod, glabrous, thick, flattened, obliquely oblong, prominently beaked, woody, polished-brown, 7-10 cm x 3-4 cm, 2-3(-5) seeded. Seeds ellipsoid, flattened, 18-20 mm x 10-12 mm, brown" (World AgroForestryTree database).

"A small tree to 5-6 m tall, the branches with scattered prickles.  Leaves to 50 cm long; pinnae about 20 pairs, each with 10-15 pairs of oblong marked obliquely inequilateral leaflets, less than 2 cm long; flowers showy, 2.5 cm broad, yellow, in racemes; stamens woolly-pubescent on the proximal half; pods hard, indehiscent, glossy, broad, 7.5-10 cm long by 4 cm wide, beaked at apex, beak ± recurved; seeds 3-4"  (Stone, 1970; pp. 308-309).

Habitat/ecology:  "Under natural conditions C. sappan grows mostly in hilly areas with clayey soil and calcareous rocks at low and medium altitudes. In Peninsular Malaysia it grows best on sandy riverbanks. It does not tolerate too wet soil conditions" (World AgroForestryTree database).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  India, Myanmar and Malaysia (Staples & Herbst, 2005; p. 308).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Rota Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 97)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 97)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (pp. 95-96)
Vouchers cited: DA 12349, DA 5650, DA 15374
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (pp. 308-309)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 97)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) uncertain if introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 21)
Cultivated only
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island uncertain if introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Lavergne, Christophe (2006)
"Naturalisé"

Comments:  Naturalized in La Réunion per Christophe Lavergne, pers. com.


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This page was created on 3 MAR 2006 and was last updated on 5 NOV 2011.