Falcataria moluccana (Miq.) Barneby & J.W.Grimes, Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 74(1):255 (1996)
Species name meaning 'from the Moluccas'.
Adenanthera falcata L.
Adenanthera falcataria L.
Adenanthera falcatoria L. [Spelling variant]
Albizia eymae Fosberg
Albizia falcata sensu auct.
Albizia falcata (L.) Backer [Spelling variant]
Albizia falcata (L.) Backer ex Merr.
Albizia falcataria (L.) Fosberg
Albizia falcatoria (L.) Fosberg [Spelling variant]
Albizia fulva Lane-Poole
Albizia fulva C.T. White & Francis
Albizia moluccana Miq.
Paraserianthes falcataria (L.) I.C.Nielsen
Paraserianthes falcataria subsp. falcataria
Paraserianthes falcataria subsp. fulva (Lane-Poole) I.C.Nielsen
Paraserianthes falcatoria (L.) I.C.Nielsen [Spelling variant]
Large, fast growing trees. Stipules present, but dropped early. Leaves alternate, bipinnate
compound, up to 40 cm long, with glands on the rachis, each pinnae with many small leaflets
(up to 25). Flowers in panicles, consisting of many long stamens, white-pinkish. Fruit a papery
straight pod up to ca. 11 cm long, narrowly winged along the suture, opening on both sides, with
many green, up to 7 mm diameter flat seeds.
A medium-sized to fairly large, unarmed tree up to 40 m tall, bole straight and cylindrical in
dense stands, branchless for up to 20 m and up to 100 cm or sometimes more in diameter; bark
surface white, grey or greenish, smooth or slightly warty, sometimes shallowly fissured and with
longitudinal rows of lenticels, inner bark white, yellowish, pink or pale red-brown, fibrous;
young parts often densely tomentose. Leaves alternate, bipinnate, up to 40 cm long, with (4-)8-15
pairs of pinnae, each pinna with (8-)15-25 leaflets, rachis and pinnae with extrafloral nectaries;
stipules linear or filiform, caducous, 3-5 mm x 0.5-1 mm; petiole 2-8 cm long, with a raised gland
in the distal half; leaflets oblong-falcate, 6-15 mm x (2-)3-6 mm, sessile, densely appressed
puberulous. Inflorescence a paniculate raceme, up to 30 cm long; flowers bisexual, 5-merous,
subtended by bracts; calyx valvate, tubular to cup- or bell-shaped, 1.5-3 mm long; corolla valvate,
funnel- or bell-shaped, 4-6.5 mm long, creamy to yellowish, sericeous all over; stamens numerous,
10-15 mm long, white, filaments fused into a 3.5 mm long tube at base, anthers quadrangular,
minute; ovary solitary, glabrous. Fruit a chartaceous, flat, straight pod, 7.5-10.5 cm x 1.3-1.7 cm,
narrowly winged along the ventral suture, dehiscent along both sutures, puberulous, usually
glabrescent, many-seeded. Seed oblongoid, flat, 6-7.5 mm x 3-4 mm, olive-green, with oblong areole
about 5 mm long. [from PROSEA]
As a pioneer species, it occurs in primary but more characteristically in secondary lowland rain
forest, and also in light montane forest, grassy plains and along roadsides near the sea. It is
adapted to per-humid and monsoonal climates with a dry season of up to 2(-4) months and an annual
rainfall ranging from 2000-4000 mm, averaging 2800 mm. In its natural habitat it occurs from
0-2300 m altitude. The optimum temperature range is 22-29 degrees C, with mean minimum temperatures
of the coldest month of 22-24 degrees C and mean maximum temperatures of the hottest month of
30-34 degrees C. It is found on well-drained sandy and lateritic soils. In natural stands in
Irian Jaya it is associated with e.g. Agathis labillardieri Warb., Celtis spp.,
Diospyros spp., Pterocarpus indicus Willd., Terminalia spp., and Toona
sureni (Blume) Merrill. When planted, it can grow on comparatively poor sites and survive
without application of fertilizers. However, it does not thrive in poorly drained, flooded or
waterlogged soils. It is sensitive to fire and easily damaged by strong wind. [from PROSEA]
It is an invasive, nitrogen-fixing tree species. It is has been introduced to the Seychelles,
Mauritius, Reunion and many Pacific islands; including, most notably, Hawaii where it has
become a problematic invader. Its rapid growth habit allows it to outcompete slow-growing native
trees, and its abundant, high-quality litter alters nutrient dynamics in the soil. This affects
decomposition rates and microorganism and invertebrate community composition. Ecosystem processes
may be altered in both terrestrial and aquatic environments where it invades riparian areas. [from
Global Invasive Species Database]
Planted extensively for reforestation and afforestation of denuded and eroding land. Because it
is very fast-growing, the wood is widely used for fuelwood and charcoal production in spite of
its low density and energy value. It is an important shade tree for tea and other crops, its fast
growth and good shading properties outweighing its sensitivity to strong winds and its relatively
short life. It is being tested in alley-cropping systems, although its tolerance of coppicing is
limited. It is a major source of paper pulp and has been used for the manufacture of viscose rayon.
The comparatively soft timber, called 'batai' in trade, is suitable for general utility purposes
such as light construction, furniture and cabinet work, lightweight packing materials and pallets.
It is a well-known source for match wood. Because the wood is fairly easy to cut, batai is also
suitable for wooden shoes, musical instruments, toys and novelties, forms and general turnery.
Batai is an important source of lightweight veneer and plywood and is very suitable for the
manufacture of particle board, wood-wool board and hardboard, and has recently also been used
for blockboard. The bark yields a gum, has tanning properties, and it is also used for packing.
The leaves are fed to poultry, goats and sheep. It is also planted as an ornamental. [from PROSEA]
Native to the Moluccas, New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago including the Admirality Islands and
the Solomon Islands. It is widely planted throughout the humid tropics.
English: batai (trade name), Peacock's plume.
Indonesia: jeungjing (Sundanese), sengon laut (Javanese), sikat (Banda).
Malaysia: batai (Peninsular, Sabah), kayu machis (Sarawak).
Papua New Guinea: white albizia.
Philippines: Moluccan sau, falcata.