AppearanceSaman is a wide-canopied tree with a large symmetrical crown. It usually reaches a height of 25 m and a diameter of 40 m. The leaves fold in rainy weather and in the evening, hence the name "rain tree" and "five o'clock tree" in Malay. Several lineages of this tree are available, e.g., with reddish pink and creamish golden colored flowers.
During his 1799–1804 travels in the Americas, Alexander von Humboldt encountered a giant saman tree near Maracay, Venezuela. He measured the circumference of the parasol-shaped crown at 576 ft , its diameter was around 190 ft , on a trunk at 9 ft in diameter and reaching just 60 ft in height. Humboldt mentioned the tree was reported to have changed little since the Spanish colonization of Venezuela; he estimated it to be as old as the famous Canary Islands dragon tree of Icod de los Vinos on Tenerife.
The tree, called ''Samán de Güere'' still stands today, and is a Venezuelan national treasure. Just like the dragon tree on Tenerife, the age of the saman in Venezuela is rather indeterminate. As von Humboldt's report makes clear, according to local tradition, it would be older than 500 years today, which is rather outstanding by the genus' standards. It is certain, however, the tree is quite more than 200 years old today, but it is one exceptional individual; even the well-learned von Humboldt could not believe it was actually the same species as the saman trees he knew from the greenhouses at Schönbrunn Castle.
Large branches of the tree tend to break off, particularly during rainstorms. This can be hazardous as the tree is very commonly used for avenue plantation.
Naming''Albizia saman'' is a well-known tree, rivalled perhaps only by lebbeck and pink siris among its genus. It is well represented in many languages and has numerous local names in its native range. Most names that originated in Europe are some variety of "rain tree". The original name, saman - known in many languages and used for the specific epithet - derives from ''zamang'', meaning "Mimosoideae tree" in some Cariban languages of northern Venezuela.
The name "rain tree" was coined in tropical India, especially Bengal. Its origin is the moisture that collects on the ground under the tree, largely the honeydew-like discharge of cicadas feeding on the leaves.
⤷ English: saman, rain tree, monkey pod, giant thibet, inga saman, cow tamarind, East Indian walnut, soar, suar.
⟶ Grenada: coco tamarind
⟶ Guyana: French tamarind
⤷ Spanish: ''cenízaro'', ''acacia preta'', ''árbol de lluvia'' , ''genízaro''
⟶ Cuba: ''algarrobo''
⟶ Central America: ''carreto, cenicero, dormilon, genizaro, zarza''
⟶ Colombia: ''campano, saman''
⟶ Venezuela: ''carabeli, couji, lara, urero, samán''
⤷ French: ''arbre à pluie''
⤷ German: ''Regenbaum'' , ''Soar'', ''Suar''
⤷ Portuguese: ''chorona''
⤷ Haitian Creole: ''guannegoul''
⤷ Jamaica: ''goango, guango''
⤷ Trinidad: Samaan Tree
In the Caribbean region, it is occasionally called ''marsave''.
⤷ Sanskrit: ''Shiriisha''
⤷ Bengali: ''shirish'' শিরীষ
⤷ Gujarati: ''shirish''
⤷ Hindi: ''vilaiti siris'' सीरस
⤷ Kannada: ''Bhagaya mara''
⤷ Malayalam: ''chakkarakkay maram'' ചക്കരക്കായ് മരം
⤷ Marathi: ''विलायती शिरीश''
⤷ Sinhalese: ''mara''
⤷ Tamil: ''thoongu moonji maram'' தூங்குமூஞ்சி மரம்
⤷ Telugu: ''nidra ganneru'' తెలుగు
⤷ Indonesian/Malay: ''pukul lima'' , ''pokok hujan''
⤷ Javanese: ''trembesi''
⤷ Khmer ''ampil barang''
⤷ Malagasy: ''bonara, kily vazaha, madiromany, mampihe, mampohehy''
⤷ Burmese: ''kokko'' ကုက္ကို
⤷ Sundanese: ''ki hujan''
⤷ Thai: ก้ามปู , ฉำฉา , จามจุรีแดง , จามจุรี
⤷ Vietnamese: ''còng'', ''muồng tím'', ''cây mưa''
As an introduced plant on Fiji, it is called in some regions ''vaivai '', from ''vaivai'' "watery" + ''vavalagi'' "foreign". In some parts of Vanua Levu, Fiji the word ''vaivai'' is used to describe the lebbeck, because of the sound the seedpods make, and the word ''mocemoce'' is used for A. saman due to the 'sleepiness' of its leaves.
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