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What is Maackia?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2016
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Maackia refers to a genus classification given to 11 species of flowering plants found in eastern Asia. They belong to the plant subfamily category Faboideae, which are characterized by their pea-shaped flowers. These flowers are scented and usually a shade of white, green, or yellow. The roots of these plants contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria that neutralize the acids in soil. They are also considered to be legumes because they bear fruit pods, which measure about 1 to 3 inches (3 to 8 cm) long, each containing one to six seeds.

Shrubs and trees that are categorized under the Maackia genus are deciduous plants. This means they completely shed their leaves during a particular time of the year. Most often, this happens during the autumn and winter months when the temperature drops. The leaves of these flowering plants tend not to change color.

One plant species that is commonly found in the United States is the Maackia amurensis. Commonly known as Amur Maackia, this slow-growing tree was named after the Amur River in Manchuria, where it originated. It is a very strong and sturdy tree that easily adapts to most climates and soil conditions. Due to it requiring very little maintenance and water, it is often used in the landscaping of homes, parks, and streets.

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Another flowering plant included in this genus is the Maackia chinensis, or Chinese Maackia. It is a medium-sized tree native yo China brought to the United States around 1908. Gardeners and landscape designers often prefer this flowering tree because pests and insects do not usually trouble it. Its leaves are silvery in color when they are young, but they turn into a deep shade of green once it matures. Chinese Maackia trees can grow anywhere between 20 and 30 feet (6 to 9 m) in height, making them ideal to use in landscaping medium-sized gardens and parks.

The Maackia taiwanensis is another type of plant categorized under this genus classification. It is easily distinguishable by the color of its branches. Branches vary between dark gray and dark purple. Once abundantly found among the hills in Taiwan, its population has so rapidly declined that it is classified as an endangered plant species. As of 2010, this particular flowering plant can be found only in the Yangmingshan region of Taiwan, where much of the forests have been converted into a national park to protect and save this dying plant species.

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