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close this book Calliandra calothyrsus - Production and use: A Field Manual
View the document Preface
View the document Acknowledgments
View the document 1. Botany and Ecology
View the document 2. Seed Collection and Production
View the document 3. Establishment
View the document 4. Uses
View the document 5. Fodder Production
View the document 6. Pests and Diseases
View the document Seed and inoculant suppliers
View the document Authors
View the document Selected References
View the document Morphological and seedling keys to the identification of species in the Racemosae.


The genus Calliandra contains 132 species. Most are endemic to the Americas, but a few species are endemic to the South Asian subcontinent or Africa, including Madagascar. Most species are shrubs or small trees, although a few are large trees or herbs. Native to Central America and Mexico, Calliandra calothyrsus is the most widely used species in the genus. In 1936, Indonesian foresters planted C. calothyrsus in screening trials to evaluate its potential as a shade tree for coffee plantations. Although the species proved unsuitable for this use in Indonesia, farmers on Java have planted C. calothyrsus widely for fuelwood production and land reclamation. It is also planted for green manure, animal fodder, bee forage, and pulpwood.

The successful use of C. calothyrsus in Indonesia has stimulated global interest in the genus, and trials are in progress in countries throughout the tropics to evaluate Calliandra species and their potential uses in agroforestry systems. Through its international Calliandra network, the Oxford Forestry Institute (OFI) is taking a lead role in the investigation of genetic variation within the genus. OFI has sent Calliandra seed to researchers in 120 countries for the establishment of species and provenance trials and seed-production activities.

In January 1996, Winrock International, the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry's Agency for Forestry Research and Development, and the Forestry Research Program on behalf of the Overseas Development Administration (UK) held an international workshop to discuss recent and current research and development activities focusing on the genus Calliandra. In addition to the workshop organizers, the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Tropical Forestry Program (USDA/FS/TFP), the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute and Council of Agriculture, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund provided financial support for the workshop, in-kind support, or support for individual participants.

The workshop took place from 23 to 27 January 1996 in Bogor, Indonesia. The objectives were to:

• Report and exchange information on Calliandra production in a variety of sites and under a variety of management conditions

• Explore the potential of Calliandra species for use in small farming systems

Thirty-nine participants from 14 countries shared their research and observations. Winrock International has published selected papers presented at the workshop in a proceedings volume.

During the workshop, working groups summarized current knowledge on Calliandra botany and ecology. They also prepared summaries on seed collection and production, establishment methods, uses, and fodder-production systems, focusing on C. calothyrsus. The summaries were used to prepare this field manual on C. calothyrsus production and use. Copies of the workshop publications, the field manual and the proceedings volume, are available from Winrock International.

Winrock International's Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network (FACT Net), which helped organize this workshop, was formerly known as the Nitrogen Fixing Tree Association (NFTA). Since 1982, NFTA/FACT Net has cosponsored 20 international workshops on important nitrogen fixing tree (NFT) species and on other agroforestry topics. These workshops have been instrumental in demonstrating the value and promoting the use of many NFT species. The Calliandra workshop was the last in a series of five funded in large part with a grant from the USDA/FS/TFP. Previous workshops in the series focused on the genus Dalbergia, NFTs for acid soils, Albizia and Paraserianthes species, and NFTs for fodder production. We believe that this series of workshops has expanded knowledge of NFT species and has provided foresters, development workers, and farmers with useful information.

Mark H. Powell and James M. Roshetho, Winrock International