Tipuana tipu (Benth.) Kuntze

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  • Tipuana tipu Lillo
  • Machaerium tipu Benth.
  • Tipuania speciosa Benth.

Common names

Pride of Bolivia, Rosewood, Tipu Tree

Author: Le Houérou


Small to large thornless tree (4-40 m) depending on the ecological conditions, with a bole reaching up to 150 cm dbh. Leaves are opposite and imparipinnate, with a 12-20 cm rachis bearing 7-10 pairs of opposite or sub-opposite leaflets oblong, 3-5 cm long x 12-20 mm wide, rounded at both ends, with an emarginated tip. There are 10-15 nerves, hardly conspicuous and finely reticulate underneath the leaf blades, which also bear minute whitish scales and short apressed hair. The upper side of the leaf is glabrous. Petiole is enlarged at the basis and 15-30 mm long until the first leaflets. The inflorescence is set in axillary racemes 10-15 cm long bearing flowers on a ca 10 mm long peduncle. The corolla is golden yellow, very ornamental, 20 mm in diameter, the standard is 15-18 mm long, calyx 8-9 mm, with short triangular teeth. Winged samara-like fruit, resembling those of a sycamore or of Securidaca, with a swollen 10 mm base containing the seed and a facalte 4 cm wing, finely veined. In a sterile stage this tree resembles Robinia pseudo-acacia (black locust), but flowers and fruits are totally different.


Usually found in urban forestry.


It is cold-tolerant


Drought tolerance is fair to high.


Originating from South America (South Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia).

Products & uses

This is mainly an ornamental tree, used in urban forestry, but the leaves also constitute e good feed for stock. It is also one of the many "rose woods". It has been used in the South Sahel and North Sudanian ecozones for street and amenity plantations, as well as in Dakar, Cairo, Lisbon, Tunis, Sousse, Jerusalem etc.


Berhaut 1976 ; Burkill 1995.