Majidea zanguebarica

Syn. Harpullia zanguebarica

Black pearl tree

 

Wonderful velvet pearls

                                                                               

 

Perles de Zanzibar, velvet pearl, Zanzibar, perles de velours, bead tree, black pearl tree, Mgambo, mambo tree, velvet pearl tree, árvore mgambo, árvore pérola preto ou da semente da árvore de veludo , …

 

Family

 

SAPINDACEAE

 

Origin

 

Zanzibar (Indian ocean)

 

Description

  

Mgambo is a little gem of a tree native to Zanzibar in India ocean. Only 15' tall in captivity, it has a perfect shape, a rounded canopy of shiny green leaves and very small flowers. The pods that follow split open to reveal expose velvet black seeds against a scarlet interior. They're so amazing they are often used as beads.

Flowering occurs from September to march and from mai to June.

 

Habitat

 

Dry forest (Alt. 0-200m)

 

Propagation

Seeds

 

Culture and care

 

Black Pearl Tree is hardy in frost-free zones 9-11 and makes an extraordinary houseplant elsewhere. It grows as well in a container as in the tropics only smaller. And what a bonsai!

Mgambo is rare even in its native Zanzibar, but is drought-tolerant, easy to grow and compact enough to fit in most gardens. It grows readily from seed wrapped in a moist paper towel and kept warm.

 

It grows in every soil, during winter protect it from the cold, it resist at 40°F.

 

Uses

 

 

- Ornemental use

 

 

Can be planted as a single plant, in contener, bonsai or in edge.

 

- Other uses

 

 

Given their esthetical qualities, the seed is used in handcraft jewelry, and the dried pods, in the composition of dry bouquets or pots pourris.

 

Etymology

 

 

The origin of « Majidea » is uncertain. « Zanguebarica » means, comes from Zanzibar.

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