Saman is a wide-canopied tree with a large symmetrical umbrella-shaped crown. It usually reaches a height of 15–25 m (49–82 ft) and a diameter of 30 m (98 ft).The leaves fold in rainy weather and in the evening, hence the names rain tree and five o'clock tree ("Pukul Lima" in Malay). The tree has pinkish flowers with white and red stamens, set on heads with around 12–25 flowers per head. These heads may number in the thousands, covering the whole tree. The seed pods of the tree contain sticky, edible flesh.
Albizia falcataria trees are commonly 20 m tall, sometimes to 30 and exceptionally to 40 m or more, with trunk diameters up to 70 cm, though 140 cm diameter trees are reported. It is sometimes erect when in dense stands, but is generally multistemmed with a flat, spreading crown. The bark is dark grey, quite smooth and thin but densely hooped and lenticellate.