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Common Name : Sickle Bush     -       Scientific Name : Dichrostachys cinerea (Fabaceae)       -       Other Name : Bell Mimosa (E) Andara (S)
Kumutu Villu

This is a small tree is native to Africa. It has now become naturalised in India, the Caribbean, Australia, and South East Asia including Sri Lanka. In Cuba this species has caused a serious invasive plant problem where it occupies about 20,000 square kilometres of agricultural land. This species is regarded as a threat to agricultural production and is listed in the global invasive species database.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as Least Concerned. (National List 2012).

This is a very common species in the dry and arid zones of the low country. It is commonly seen in all the dry zone national parks, the Mannar Island and the Jaffna Peninsula. In Sri Lanka this species has not caused an invasive species problem as in the case with Kalapu Andara’ Prosophis juliflora, which has spread over vast areas in Hambantota, Bundala and Lunugamvehera destroying the local habitat.

A tiny butterfly known as the African Babul Blue lays its eggs on the tender leaves of this species.

The bark, seeds and the leaves are used in native medicine in India and Africa to treat Toothache, Headache, Dysentery and Gonorrhea.

I have observed the flowers in Wilpattu from September to January but else where in the island flowers are seen throughout the year.

This species is not very common in the main villu areas of the park. Few bushes can be seen in open areas such as Borupan Wila, and Thimbiri Wila. It is commonly seen at Mollikulam and Pukkulam.