A. dimidiata is a small tree that can grow up to 8 meters tall. It’s brown bark bears lenticules. As its ageing leaves become covered with small rusty spots and are deciduous. When the leaves begin to re-shoot, the foliage becomes a beautiful dark green. Its flowers are very small and clustered on the terminal buds and bear small fragrant flowers.
This native Mascarene species is found throughout the archipelago. It is also widespread in Africa, Madagascar and Southwest Asia and Malaysia. It grows locally in the wild. The flowers exude a scent of honey that attracts bees and geckos. The plant rarely produces fruit and seedlings are rarely found.
The ‘bois bleu’ is native to Mascarenes but it is classified as ‘Endangered’ for Mauritius on the IUCN Red List. The plant is protected under the forest restoration project and in reserves. The population size is reducing due to habitat loss and the invasion of exotic species.
The plant produces a bluish sap that can be observed by making an incision in the bark, hence the vernacular name.
Very hard wood is excellent for building houses and boats.
The first sample of the plant was collected by Wenceslas Bojer in 1840.