Jones, K., M.B. Thomas and D. Hollister. 2019 In Progress. Native Trees for Community Forests. St. George Village Botanical Garden. St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.
Rarely common in forests throughout the central and western portions of the island. Medium-sized tree to 50' in height with a dense, rounded or spreading crown; trunk to 20" in diameter.
Bark: Light gray, fissured, scaly, with an unpleasant, cabbage-like odor when damaged. Leaves: Deciduous, alternate, pinnately compound, to 16" long; leaflets in 7 to 13 opposite pairs, oblong to elliptic with pointed tips, each 2" to 5" long and 1" to 2" broad; dark, shiny green above, lighter and less shiny beneath. Flowers: Showy, pink to purple, pea-shaped; each to 1/2" long, borne in terminal or lateral clusters, very attractive to bees. Flowering in winter (January to February) and in summer (May to September). Fruit: Oval to elliptic, dark green and fleshy, to 2" long; each containing poisonous seed.
GROWTH RATE: Fast.
SALT TOLERANCE: Medium.
DROUGHT TOLERANCE: Medium.
PROPAGATION: Seeds, cuttings. Seeds are poisonous.
Handsome and showy in flower; can be planted for shade or ornament. Tolerant of a wide range of conditions. Untidy when large, dropping leaves, flowers, and fruits in large quantities. Seeds are poisonous.
Highly decorative wood has been used in furniture and cabinet work, construction, bridge work and house framing.
This tree has the ability to adapt to various sites and can produce large quantities of animal dispersed seeds. No immediate conservation needs are necessary.