The Rain Tree as a Table

Samanea saman (Rain Tree) tableMy husband is a self-described “tree hugger and tree cutter,” so he appreciates anything made from real wood.  We ran into this table in a Santa Fe furniture store and had to take a picture of it.

This coffee table is made from an 8″ thick slab of a tree known as a Rain Tree (Samanea saman).  It’s native to northern South America, has been naturalized in tropical regions and is considered invasive in Fiji.  It grows to an astonishing 50-80′ tall with a crown as large as 100′ diameter.

Samanea saman (Rain Tree)Aside from the fact that it’s comparable to an 8-story behemoth, it consumes massive amounts of water…making it impractical for our Phoenix desert.  But it comes from the same family as our much smaller (and less thirsty) native mesquite trees (Fabaceae) and, like other legumes, it produces large seed pods and fixes nitrogen in the soil.

 

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