Gliricidia sepium

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Gliricidia sepium
Gliricidia sepium 0002.jpg
Gliricidia sepium (Madre de cacao - Mindanao, Philippines).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Gliricidia
Species: G. sepium
Binomial name
Gliricidia sepium
(Jacq.) Kunth ex Walp.
Synonyms
  • Galedupa pungam Blanco
  • Gliricidia lambii Fernald
  • Gliricidia maculata (Kunth) Walp.
  • Gliricidia maculata var. multijuga Micheli
  • Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Kunth ex Griseb.
  • Lonchocarpus rosea (Mill.) DC.
  • Lonchocarpus sepium (Jacq.) DC.
  • Millettia luzonensis A.Gray
  • Millettia slendidissima "sensu Naves, non Blume"
  • Robinia maculata Kunth
  • Robinia rosea Mill.
  • Robinia sepium Jacq.
  • Robinia variegata Schltdl. [1]

Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Steud. Purdue University.

Gliricidia sepium, often simply referred to as Gliricidia (common names: quickstick, mata ratón; cacao de nance, cachanance; piñon Cubano in the Dominican Republic; madreado in Honduras; kakawate in the Philippines; madre xacao or madre de cacao in the Philippines and Guatemala; and madero negro in Nicaragua); wetahiriya in Sinhala ,is a medium size leguminous tree belonging to the family Fabaceae.

In many of these areas it is considered to be the second most important multi-purpose legume tree, surpassed only by Leucaena leucocephala.[2]

Description[edit]

Gliricidia sepium is a medium-sized tree that grows 10 to 12 meters high. The bark is smooth, and its color can range from a whitish gray to deep red-brown.

It has composite leaves that can be 30 cm long. Each leaf is composed of leaflets that are about 2 to 7 cm long and 1 to 3 cm wide.

The flowers are located on the end of branches that have no leaves. These flowers have a bright pink to lilac color that is tinged with white. A pale yellow spot is usually at the flower's base.

The tree's fruit is a pod about 10 to 15 cm long. It is green when unripe and becomes yellow-brown when it reaches maturity. The pod produces 4 to 10 round brown seeds.

G. sepium is native to tropical dry forests in Mexico and Central America. In addition to its native range it is cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions, including the Caribbean, northern parts of South America, central Africa, parts of India, and Southeast Asia.[3]

The tree grows well in acidic soils with a pH of 4.5-6.2. The tree is found on volcanic soils in its native range in Central America and Mexico. However, it can also grow on sandy, clay, and limestone soils.[4][5]

Uses[edit]

G. sepium was spread from its native range throughout the tropics to shade plantation crops such as coffee.[6] Today it is used for many other purposes including live fencing, fodder, firewood,[7] green manure, intercropping, and rat poison.[8] Its use expanded following the widespread defoliation of Leucaena by psyllid in the 1980s.[6]

Fodder[edit]

G. sepium is used as cut and carry forage for cattle, sheep, and goats. Its high protein content allows it to complement low-quality tropical forages. G. Sepium can tolerate repeated cutting, every 2 to 4 months depending on the climate. Cutting G. Sepium causes it to retain its leaves during the dry season when many forage crops have lost their leaves. In some cases it is the only source of feed during the dry season.[6]

Intercropping[edit]

G. sepium trees are used for intercropping in part because they fix nitrogen in the soil and tolerate low soil fertility, so when they are interplanted with crops they can boost crop yields significantly, without the need of chemical fertilizers.

G. Sepium tolerates being cut back to crop height, and can even be coppiced, year after year. When the trees are cut back, they enter a temporary dormant state during which their root systems do not compete for nutrients needed by the crops, so the crops can establish themselves.[9]

These properties also enable G. Sepium to be used as green manure.[6]

Soil Stabilization[edit]

G. sepium is a fast-growing ruderal species that takes advantage of slash and burn practices in its native range.[4] Because it is easily propagated and grows quickly, it is also planted to prevent topsoil erosion in the initial stages of reforesting denuded areas, and as an intermediate step to be taken before introducing species that take longer to grow.[9]

Credits by: Angeremyah

Other[edit]

G. sepium is widely used in the form of poles for live fencing in India. This is one of the best plants used for traditional live fencing to protect agriculture and fruit bearing plantations from animals like goats, cow and buffalo. In the recent past one could see many living fences around mango and cashew orchards and agricultural properties in Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka, erected with G. sepium and tied with bamboo rafters.

G. sepium is also used for its medicinal and insect repellent properties. Farmers in Latin America often wash their livestock with a paste made of crushed G. sepium leaves to ward off torsalos (botflies). In the Philippines, the extract obtained from its leaves is used to remove external parasites.[4]

Limitations[edit]

G. sepium seems to be toxic to non-ruminants.

Some palatability challenges have been reported; animals seem to refuse the leaves on the basis of smell, but this depends on management and geography.[10]

Another limitation is frost intolerance and the lack of adaptation to a cool season: it is a tropical plant.

In terms of cultivation, it requires the presence of pollinators, and it needs a dry season to germinate.

Further, it has invasive potential: its swift propagation has caused it to be considered a weed in Jamaica.[11]

Until now G. sepium has remained free of serious diseases; only a number of insect problems are reported in exotic environments,[10] but there are issues with defoliation under humid conditions.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/ild-2406
  2. ^ Rani Batish, Daizy (2007). Ecological Basis of Agroforestry. CRC Press. p. 44. ISBN 1-4200-4327-7. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  3. ^ Hughes, C.E. (1987) Biological considerations in designing a seed collection strategy for Gliricidia sepium. Commonwealth Forestry Review 66, 31-48.
  4. ^ a b c "Gliricidia sepium". Treating Livestock with Medicinal Plants: Beneficial or Toxic?. Cornell University. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  5. ^ "Gliricidia sepium". Tropical Forages. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  6. ^ a b c d Stuttle, J.M. "Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.)". Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  7. ^ Lowe, Andrew; Stephen Harris; Paul Ashton (2004). Ecological Genetics. Blackwell Publishing. p. 154. ISBN 1-4051-0033-8. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  8. ^ Elevitch, Craig R. (2004). The Overstory Book: Cultivating Connections with Trees. Permanent Agriculture Resources. p. 152. ISBN 0-9702544-3-1. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  9. ^ a b "Trees 'boost African crop yields and food security'". Planting trees to boost crop yields in Africa. BBC News. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  10. ^ a b http://www.fao.org/WAICENT/FAOINFO/AGRICULT/AGP/AGPC/doc/Publicat/Gutt-shel/x5556e07.htm
  11. ^ "Gliricidia sepium"[1]. Tropical Forages. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
  12. ^ http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Gbase/DATA/Pf000156.htm

External links[edit]