Saman (Samanea saman, aka Albizia saman)

This pea-family species grows in dry to moist forests. It grows to about 115 feet and has a full, lush crown. The bark of the Saman tree is dark, fissured, and rough.

Small groups of flowers, with long brushy stamens that fade from white to bright pink, make this attractive tree particularly eye-catching when in bloom. Hawkmoths pollinate the flowers at night as they drink the nectar. The flowers bring forth flat seed pods that look more or less like large pea pods, and can be as long as eight inches (20 cm).

This is a good shade tree, and when used near pastures, cattle often eat the fruits after they fall. The rain tree gets its name because insects that suck plant juices up in the tree's canopy produce a mist of liquid that can descend through the branches.

The saman is one of over 300 species that have been traditionally used for wood. This common exploitation has made it uncertain whether this species will survive for much longer.