Tropical Asia, northern Australia
Fast-growing colonizer of disturbed areas in central and south Florida, including pinelands, pine rocklands, canopy gaps in rockland hammocks, mesic flatwoods, hardwood hammocks, bason marshes and ruderal communities. Listed as a category I invasive species by Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC).
Deciduous, thornless tree can grow up to 20 m (65 ft) in height, with a rounded, spreading crown and pale bark. Leaves alternate, twice compound, with 2-5 pairs of pinnae, each pinna with 3-10 pairs of leaflets (even-pinnate); leaflets elliptic-oblong, 2-4 cm (1-2 in) long, usually asymmetrical at base, dull green above, paler green below; petiole with a sessile, elliptic gland near the base above. Flower petals are thin and long. Flowers are showy, cream or yellowish white in color, and in rounded clusters near stem tips, 5-6 cm (2-2.5 in) across. The fruit is a flat, linear pod, to 30 cm (1 ft) long, with many seeds. Dried pods may be seen after leaf fall and can often be heard rattling in the wind.
In Florida, distinguished from other thornless leguminous trees with twice-compound leaves by its number of leaflets (usually 20+) and the leaflets’ larger size (usually > 2 cm long).
Introduced to Florida for ornament in the 1880s.
Albizia lebbeck is distributed in central and southern counties of Florida.
Do not plant. Remove plant, root system, and seedlings promptly.