A Tree of Many Names: ALBIZIA LEBBECK

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the fragrant scent

lingers in the air

a whiff of goodness

whenever you’re close

its whitish-yellow flowers

with its numerous long stamen

separate when blown

here in St Croix

this tree is abundant

as in Haiti and many other

tropical regions although

native to New Guinea and

northern Australia

but locals call it

tibet or tipit

disregarding the English names:

lebbek tree,

flea tree

frywood

koko and

woman’s tongue tree

derogatory for sure

the latter name

assigned

based

on the rattle sound

inside the pods

which have six

or a dozen seeds

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an astringent

in some places

they eat the seeds

use it to treat boils

cough even the eyes

and it might very well be

psychoactive

the bark

reduces

inflammation

and looks great

as roof for a shanti

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