Chaperno blanco


Chaperno blanco is native to Mexico and Central America, where it is planted mainly for shade in farms and to improve degraded soils. It reaches a height 60 feet, with a trunk 1.5 feet in diameter. The leaves are up to 14 inches long and twice compound, generally with three pairs of leaflets that subdivide into another three pairs of secondary leaflets, the largest leaflets reach 3.5 inches in length. Flowers are grouped in terminal branched inflorescences with individual heads approximately 1 inch in diameter. Fruits are flat pods up to 8 inches long, that turn brown when ripe and open along both sides to liberate about a dozen seeds. The tree flowers and produces fruits irregularly during the year. The generic name honors the 18th century Florentine nobleman Filippo del Albizzi. The species name means with close heads, probably in reference to the distribution of the heads in the inflorescences.

The photographed tree is west of the house occupied by the Institute for Research on Water Resources and the Environment of Puerto Rico, and is the only member of the species in the campus.

Albizia adinocephala (Fabaceae)