Albizia Species, East Indian Walnut, Monkey Pod, Rain Tree

Albizia saman

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Albizia (al-BIZ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: saman
Synonym:Calliandra saman
Synonym:Mimosa saman



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)


USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink


White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Highgrove, California

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Hana, Hawaii


La Porte, Texas

Richmond, Texas(2 reports)

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 20, 2018, Gladeswader from Miami, FL wrote:

Had several of these large trees go down in hurricane Irma in Miami. These trees do not root deeply, the roots are at or above the surface from these trees. These roots create issues for maintenance anywhere under the canopy and beyond. Of the nine trees total, five of them went down with catastrophic results to other plants, trees in the areas where they were. There is now also a pest here, a type of miner that riddles the stems and branches causing die back of both twigs and large branches. It has been controlled with systematic pesticides in the past, but I prefer not to use these as they persist in the environment. If you consider growing one of these it requires a large area, and consider the branch drop from pests and the surface roots.


On Jul 6, 2016, Edin_e from Highgrove, CA wrote:

I have a seed thematic just sprouted, and I live in Southern California and I was wondering if SoCal weather is compatible with this tree. And if not what can I do to ensure healthy growth.


On Feb 23, 2016, GoatLockerGuns from San Antonio, TX wrote:

This tree is easy to germinate from seed if scarified. Simply make a small and shallow cut with a sharp knife along the side of the hard seed shell (only deep enough to see the slightest white from the endosperm inside). Place the seed in a zip lock bag filled up 1/3 of the way with potting soil (preferably a seed germinating mix; I have also found that the Palm/Cactus/Citrus blends work well). Dampen the soil and place the zip lock bag on a seed germination heat mat. Should germinate in 2-5 days.


On Mar 31, 2012, wilso77 from huddersfield,
United Kingdom wrote:

I have grown this tree from seed indoors in the UK for a bonsai tree . They germinated in august last year and have been growing over winter on a bright window upstairs . One of the seedlings leaves keeps turning pure white some of the leaves fall off but other leaves manage to turn green again . I regulary fertalise them and ive treated them with insectacide and even repoted it into a more sandy soil mix but a few weeks later some of the leave tips are still pure white . Can anyone give me some advise on this could this be fertiliser burn or the soil mix , or some sort of insect pest ? many thanks


On Oct 8, 2009, Gustichock from Tandil,
Argentina (Zone 10b) wrote:

I think Monocromatico is talking about another type of tree.


On Apr 21, 2009, Dinu from Mysore,
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

Here in Mysore, these trees are very popular avenue trees providing plenty of shade. Some are having huge girth and the canopy is a sight to behold, having a lovely spread all round. The fruits when they fall, have a sweet smell and gets sticky. The cows that decorate our roads (!!) love those fruits. When vehicles pass over the fruits, they just get pressed and stick there. As kids we used to collect these fruits, crush and then make a hard hand made ball to play, usually with plenty of cycle-tubing rubber bands all over it to add some softness. A huge 150 year old tree which I had seen all my life fell in a storm 4-5 years back and the void it created near that park was incredible. It had such a huge canopy sheltering so many fruit and flower vendors under it.


On Dec 24, 2008, mocjack from Richmond, TX wrote:

Great so far... I loved this tree when I was in Hawaii and have a baby growing under the lights here in south Texas now...


On Mar 22, 2008, wormfood from Lecanto, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I joined a Bonsai Club and saw one at the display at the county fair. It was at least 35 years old and the grandest looking tree there. They called it a Brazillian Raintree. I was warned when planting to keep it away from buildings and sidewalks because the roots will do damage.


On Sep 27, 2004, einaudi from Hana, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

Konallie is correct in saying this is a very large tree; in the sub-tropics it grows very fast . If you like trees, this one is (in my view) one of the most beautiful due its massive architecture of trunk and branches (don't plant this tree for its flowers, which are insignificant). A mature specimen can be 70-90 feet tall and 60-70 feet across the crown, each topmost branch reaching a magical level that leaves a smooth umbrella-shaped profile to the whole tree. S. saman is eratically deciduous.
Another story regarding the common name of "raintree" for S. saman, different from that given above by Desertboot, is that, as the bipinnate leaves close at dusk, condensed water-vapor drips off the leaf tips.


On Apr 28, 2004, desertboot from Bangalore,
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

A hugely (pun intended) popular 'avenue tree' in South India. Originally introduced, from Brazil, sometime in the late-19th century, and even today planted along highways and city-streets for their sprawling shade. Some of the oldest still stand in and around the S. Indian cities of Bangalore, Mysore and Madras. Trunks are of immense girth, with characteristic bottle-green canopies often 30-40 meters / 90- 120 feet across, criss-crossed (as seen from below) by heavy branches. Interestingly, the epithet 'rain tree' comes from the excretory secretion squired by cicadas that colonise the canopy during specific times of the year (I've never experienced this rather horrid-sounding phenomenon, so apologies to anyone who's wondering when, or for that matter, why!). Another peculiarity: the bi-pin... read more


On Apr 22, 2004, KonaAllie wrote:

The monkey pod, or rain tree, can grow very huge, up to 100 feet across. So, your description of it's size is inaccurrate. They are common in Hawaii, and grow very rapidly. (we currently have one trying to take over the entire back yard!) They are very interesting to see. I have some recent photographs.


On Apr 5, 2004, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This is a short tree, or large shrub from Tropical America. At first sight, it looks pretty much like other Powder Puff plants, like Calliandra brevipes, though this one belongs to a different genus.

This tree rarely grows much, staying between 3-6 meters tall. The leaves are small and bipinnate. The flowers have long, pink to white stamens, and these flowers are grouped in dense heads, forming the "powder puffs". However, there are always 2 or 3 flowers per head with stamens that are fused together in a long, white tube. These specialized flowers contain nectar, and feed the butterflies, while these insects get pollen from the other flowers.

This plant likes full sun, but goes well under some shade. It needs regular watering, high temperatures, and a fertile ... read more