Selected Trees and Shrubs
Afzelia xylocarpa; Synonym: Afzelia siamica; Common name: Makamong, Black Rosewood, Afzelia
Plant Family: Belongs to the Caesalpineae family, which includes the Orchid Tree (Bauhinia variegata) and the Flamboyant (Delonix regia).
Description: Located adjacent to cricket field near Elmshall gate; trees are large, up to 30 m tall (100 ft); stem has tendency to be crooked and forked, often producing buttresses; leaves compound, 3-5 pairs of leaflets, each 5-9 cm long (2-3.5 in) and 4-5 cm wide (1.5-2 in); flowers small and born in panicle bunches; fruit a woody pod 15-20 cm long (6-8 in) and 7-9 cm wide (3-3.5 in) remaining for long time on tree before opening.
Natural Habitat: Tropical Asia at altitudes between 100 and 650 m (300-2000 ft) with rainfall of 40-60 in; propagation usually by seed, which is viable for one year at room temperature; can also be propagated by air layering, cutting or grafting.
Origin and Distribution: Native to tropical Asia; wood is much sought after, and due to high levels of exploitation and habitat loss, large trees are scarce, and tree is listed as an endangered species.
Uses: Hard, dense, fine-grained wood; is highly valuable and used for many purposes, including high quality furniture, house construction, musical instruments and carving; bark is used for tanning hides; and young seed cotyledons are edible; tree is nitrogen fixing and suitable for agro forestry and soil improvement; is prized throughout Asia.
Dorthe Joker. Afzelia xylocarpa. Danida Forest Seed Center, Humlebaek, Denmark 2000 (dfsc.dk)
Dominica Forestry & Wildlife Division. Dominica's Botanic Gardens: A Guide to Selected Trees and Shrubs. Ministry of Agriculture, Dominica 1988