Machaerium fertile Griseb.
Machaerium tipu Benth.
Tipuana speciosa Benth.
Tipuana tipa Lillo
Tipuana tipu is a semi-deciduous tree with a light spreading crown and spreading branches, usually growing 10 - 30 metres tall, though it can be smaller when growing in difficult conditions and there are also reports of trees up to 40 metres tall[
]. The straight, cylindrical bole can be up to 150cm in diameter[
The tree provides a useful timber, and it is planted in reforestation programmes, for soil stabilization etc. It is also planted as an ornamental and shade tree near patios and as a lawn or street tree because of its thick growing habit and spreading shape[
]. It is widely planted from the Mediterranean region to the tropics[
S. America - Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia.
]. A common tree in the gallery forests of the Andes where it is found both in valleys and in
mountain forests at elevations up to 2,900 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
A plant of warm temperate, subtropical and tropical climates, it is found at elevations up to 2,200 metres[
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 14 - 28°c, though can tolerate 8 - 38°c[
]. It is able to tolerate occasional temperatures below freezing[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall of 700 - 900mm, tolerating 600 - 1,000mm[
]. It can succeed in more humid areas with a mean annual rainfall in excess of 2,500mm[
Prefers a sunny locations[
]. It tolerates a wide variety of soils, including black cotton, but prefers a medium clay-loam[
]. Tolerates soils with a high salinity[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 7, tolerating 5 - 7.5[
]. Established plants are drought resistant[
Plants can be coppiced[
Trees are shallow rooted and are liable to be blown over by strong winds[
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[
The tree fixes atmospheric nitrogen, whilst its dead leaves and flowers produce litter, which improves soil texture and nutrient content[
]. Its fast growth makes it a valuable species for reforestation and soil conservation projects, whilst it is also planted to provide shelter from the wind[
]. There is another report that the trees are shallow rooted and are liable to be blown over by strong winds[
The leaves and unripe fruits contain saponins and have peroxidase properties[
]. They can probbly be used as a soap substitute[
A red resin exuded from the bark is rich in tannins and can be used as a dye[
The yellowish-white to light brown wood is straight-grained and durable[
]. It works easily and finishes well[
]. A valuable timber, it is used for furniture and cabinet making[
The wood is used for fuel and charcoal[
Seed - when dried it can retain its viability for several years at ambient temperatures[
]. Unlike most legume seed, this species does not have hard-coated seeds and does not require pre-treatment to assist germination[
]. The seeds are sown in a nursery seedbed and covered with a layer of substrate or sand, not more than 3 mm thick.
Germination takes 10 - 30 days. Prick out the seedlings into individual containers when they are 4 - 6cm tall and plant them out when they are 25 - 35cm tall[
]. Planting out should be done in cool weather and the young plants staked and watered until the roots are established[