Albizia julibrissin Durazz.

Last updated: 07 Apr 2016

Scientific Name

Albizia julibrissin Durazz.

Synonyms

Acacia julibrissin (Durazz.) Willd., Acacia nemu Willd., Albizia nemu (Willd.) Benth., Albizzia julibrissin Durazz. [Spelling variant], Feuilleea julibrissin (Durazz.) Kuntze, Mimosa julibrissin (Durazz.) Scop., Mimosa speciosa Thunb., Sericandra julibrissin (Durazz.) Raf. [1]

Vernacular Name

English Silk tree, powder puff tree, mimosa, silky acacia [2][3], Persian acacia, pink siris, pink siris tree, silk siris, silk tree albizia [4]
China He-huan, he huan pi, ho huan, yeh ho [4]
India Barau, bhokra, cela, cencu, elesujjalubage, kondaganam, nallasinduge, sansu, sinduga, yelesujilbage [4], brind, siris, kalkora [5]
Japan Nemu-no-ki [4], nemonoki [5]
Iran Gul-i abrisham [2][3][6]
Nepal Kawasing, rato siris [4]
Germany Schlafbaum, federbaum [5].

Geographical Distributions

Albizia julibrissin is distributed in the subtropical belt extending from Northern Iran and Afghanistan through the Himalayas in Northern India and Nepals, and into China and Japan. [3]

Botanical Description

A. julibrissin is a member of the Fabaceae family. It is a small deciduoud tree which can reach up to 12 m high. It has a broad crown of level and arching branches. [7]

The bark is dark greenish grey in colour and striped vertically as it ages. [7]

The leaves are tripinnate, 20–45cm long and 12–25cm broad, divided into 6–12 pairs of pinnae, each with 20–30 pairs of leaflets. Each leaflet is oblong, 1.0–1.5cm long and 2–4mm broad. [7]

The flowers are in dense inflorescences. The individual flowers are devoid of petals but a tight cluster of stamens 2–3cm long, white or pink with a white base, giving the appearance of silky threads. [7]

The fruit is a flat brown pod 10–20cm long and 2.0–2.5cm broad, containing several seeds. [7]

Cultivation

No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

The bark or cortex of A. julibrissin is used medicinally as a cure for bruises and as a vermicide [5]. In China, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea this plant has medicinal values. The bark is dried, boiled and the decoction is used to treat insomnia, pruritus, scrofula, traumatic injuries, anthelmintic, coughing and sputum, sprains, articular pain and lumbago. The decoction of the flower is used to treat insomnia, chest congestion, conjunctivitis, sore throat and traumatic injuries. Besides that, it also is been planted for landscape [6].

Preclinical Data

No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.

Dosage

No documentation.

Poisonous Management

Toxic parts

Green or mature pods and beans/seeds. [8]

Toxin

The legume (bean) contains a neurotoxic alkaloid that is responsible for the neurological signs and symptoms and is thought to act as a pyridoxine (vitamin b6) antagonist. The poisoning occurs when the trees with green or mature pods are made available to sheep, cattle or dogs. [8]

Risk management

In recent years this plant has been seen to be a popular element in local landscape. Parks and home gardens are planted with this plant for the beautiful red flowers. The disturbing effects on animals especially domestic animals should make us wary of the plants especially when there are children around the place. The poisoning reported in Iran is an indication of the possible poisoning incidence amongst children if it is not condoned. [7]

A. julibrissin is highly invasive and can colonize an area in a short period of time. Once established it is difficult to control because of the long lived seeds which germinate easily and readily. They resprout vigorously after cutting off and can be a strong competitor for sunlight and nutrients for native species. [2]

Poisonous clinical findings

Clinical signs of intoxication can be observed within hours of ingestions. These signs include seizures, tremors, staggering gait, convulsions, and laboured breathing in some cases. Affected animals include livestock (e.g. sheep, goats, and cattle). [8]

In the study on the toxic effects of A. julibrissin was recorded that the lethal dose was > 15g/kg and the toxic dose was 10–15 g/kg. The symptoms begin to appear 12–14 hours after administration of the toxic dose. Initially there was exaggerated response to tactile, auditory and visual stimuli. This is followed by muscular twitching lasting for several minutes. Sever signs include convulsive seizures, backing-up or turning, torticolis, opisthotonus, collapses, outstretched forelimbs and paddling hind limbs. Seizures lasted 2 minutes followed by quiescence in the lateral and then sternal positions. [9]

The pollens can be a cause of hay fever to sensitive individuals. [10]

There was a report of three children presenting with A. julibrissin poisoning at the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences’s Medical Toxicology Research Centre in November 2010. The children were observed to have decrease level of consciousness after 20 minutes of ingestion. They subsequently went into Coma lasting between 6–7 hours. They become conscious after this period without any residual neurological sequellae. [11]

Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.

References

  1. The Plant List.  Ver1.1. Albizia julibrissin Durazz. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2010 Jul 14; cited 2016 Apr 07]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/ild-19968
  2. Harrison M. Flowering shrubs and small trees for the South. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, 2009; p. 20.
  3. Woodward SL, Quinn JA. Encyclopedia of invasive species: From Africanized honey bees to Zebra Mussels. Santa Barbara: Greenwood, 2011; p. 572.
  4. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume II C-D. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 149-150.
  5. Hanelt P, editor. Mansfeld's encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops: (Except Ornamentals). Berlin: Springer, 2001; p. 629.
  6. Kimura T, But PPH, Guo J, Sung CK. International collation of traditional and folk medicine: Northeast Asia Part I. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd, 1998; p. 57.
  7. MobileReferences. The illustrated encyclopedia of trees and shrubs: An essential guide to trees and shrubs of the world. Mobile Reference; 2008.
  8. Department of Ecosystem Science and Management. Plants of Texas Rangelands. [homepage on the Internet] c2016. [cited on 2012 March 3]. Available from: http://essmextension.tamu.edu/plants/plant/silktree-mimosa/
  9. Garland T, Barr AC. Toxic plants and other natural toxicants. Oxfordshire: CABI Publishing, 1998; p. 455.
  10. Delena Tull. Edible and useful plants of Texas and the Southwest: A practical guide. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003; p. 307.
  11. Khosrojerdi H, Amini M. Decreased level of consciousness due to Albizia julibrissin poisoning: A case series. 10th APAMT 2011. Penang, Malaysia: 2011 Nov 12–14.