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  Adenanthera pavonina L.
  Family Name : Fabaceae (Leguminosae)

  Common Names : Saga, Coral Bean Tree, Daun Tumpul, Suga, Redwood, Red Sandalwood Tree, Peacock Flower Fence, Barbados Pride, Coral Pea, Red Bead Tree, Circassian Bean, Coralwood

  Chinese Name : 海红豆, 孔雀豆

Saga,Coral Bean Tree,Daun Tumpul,Suga,Redwood,Red Sandalwood Tree,Peacock Flower Fence,Barbados Pride,Coral Pea,Red Bead Tree,Circassian Bean,Coralwood
  • Record Info
    • Featured in '1001 Garden Plants in Singapore' Book (2ed) :
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Tree (Medium (16m-30m))
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Plant Shape :
      Maximum Height :
      15 m to 25 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      South East Asia, India, Sri Lanka
      Native Habitat :
      Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest; Secondary Rainforest; Coastal Forest)
      Preferred Climate Zone :
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: Medium-sized leguminous tree, up to 25 m height, with somewhat irregularly rounded crown. 
      Trunk: Trunk slightly buttressed, with greyish-brown bark.
      Foliage: Leaves bipinnately-compound with 2-6 pairs of secondary stalks. Individual leaflets oblong, thin and pale green with unequally-sided base, 9-15 pairs on each secondary stalk. Species is deciduous, shedding leaves for brief periods every 6-8 months in Singapore.
      Flowers: Small (2 mm), star-shaped, mature from white to creamy yellow to dull orange, held in 7 - 15 cm raceme inflorescences at tips of new shoots. Flowers open from base to tip of inflorescence, faintly scented like orange blossoms. Tree blooms throughout year, peaking in May.
      Fruits: Seedpods thin and curved, ripeing from green to woody black and coiling up before splitting to release 8 - 12 seeds. Seeds shiny scarlet red, hard, lens-shaped, with faint "heart line" around margin, eaten and dispersed by birds.
      Habitat :
      Found in coastal forests on rocky headlands and islets. Also frequently found along roads and around human settlements. Exotic species naturalized in Singapore. Found growing wild at wastelands and open ground.
      Associated Fauna :
      Host plant of the Plain Nawab (Polyura hebe lautus)
      Cultivation :
      Hardy, fast growing and low-maintenance. Prefers well-drained, neutral to slightly acidic soils. Propagate by seeds, scarify by filing or nicking, and soak in water for a while before sowing.
      Etymology :
      Genus epithet 'Adenanthera' derived from Greek terms ‘aden’ (sticky gland) and ‘anthera’ (anthers), referring to tree's flower anthers being tipped with sticky glands. Species epithet pavonina came from Latin word ‘pavo’, meaning peacock-blue.
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves; Edible Seeds)
      Food (Fruit & Vegetable: Roasted or boiled seeds eaten with rice in Java. Young leaves cooked and eaten during famine. ; Herb & Spice)
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves; Edible Seeds), Medicinal (Ground up seeds used to relieve headaches and rheumatism, as well as treat boils. Uncooked seeds (though toxic) have been used as intoxicant. ), Timber & Products (Wood hard and reddish, called red sandalwood, used to build cabinets, furniture, wood ornaments and houses, or as fuel. Powdered wood provide a source of red dye, used by Brahmins in India to mark the forehead. Seeds used to make necklaces. Due to relatively uniform weight (4 seeds weigh about 1 g), seeds also used in India and Sri Lanka for centuries to weigh gold and silver where every seed is said to weigh exactly the same, although this is not true. Locally used as fill for tetrahedral bags used in children's game of 'five-stones'.), Cultural / Religious (
      Malaysia's first national car Proton Saga is named after this plant. Seeds frequently called and collected in bottles as "love beans", but the latter actually refers to the similar-looking red-black (and very toxic) seeds of Abrus precatorius (Rosarypea).

      Heritage Tree :
      There is currently one individual of Adenanthera pavonina listed as a Heritage Tree in Singapore. It can be found in Singapore Botanic Gardens, near the Lady on a Hammock sculpture. To find out more about this tree, please visit the Heritage Tree Register.
  • Landscaping Features
    • Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Seeds, Fragrant (Flowers: Day; [Remarks]: Flowers have faint orange blossom scent.)
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Well-Drained Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Acidic (low pH) Soils
      Landscape Uses :
      General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Shade Providing Tree / Palm
      Thematic Landscaping :
      Naturalistic Garden, Butterfly Garden
      Usage Hazards / Cons :
      Toxic Upon Ingestion, [Remarks] (Raw seeds are poisonous upon ingestion.)
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Associated Fauna :
      Bird-Attracting, Caterpillar Food Plant (Associated with: Polyura hebe plautus (Fruhstorfer, 1898))
      Seed / Spore Dispersal :
      Biotic (Fauna) (Associated with: Aaptos suberitoides, Seeds dispersed by birds), Abiotic (Explosive Dehiscence)
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water
      Plant Growth Rate :
      Maintenance Requirements :
      Propagation Method :
      Seed, Stem Cutting
      Propagule Establishment Remarks :
      Scarify seeds by filing or nicking them before soaking them in water for a short while.
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Smooth, Thin
      Foliar Type :
      Compound (Bipinnate)
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage (Oblong)
      Foliar Venation :
      Pinnate / Net
      Foliar Margin :
      Typical Foliar Area :
      Nanophyll ( 0.25cm2 - 2.25 cm2 )
      Leaf Area Index (LAI) * for Green Plot Ratio :
      3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)
  • Non-Foliar & Storage
    • Trunk Type (Non-Palm) :
      Bark Colour(s) :
      Pinkish-brown to grey
      Mature Bark Texture :
      Stem Type & Modification :
      Root Type :
      Underground (Tap Root), Aboveground (Buttress Root)
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Bisexual Flowers
      Flower Colour(s) :
      Cream / Off-White, Yellow / Golden
      Individual Flower Shape :
      Stellate / Star-shaped
      Inflorescence Type :
      Inflorescence Size :
      Remarks (Flowers mature from white to creamy-yellow to dull orange.)
      Flowering Period :
      Flowering Habit :
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Mature Fruit Colour(s) [Angiosperms & Gymnosperms] :
      Black, Brown
      Fruit Classification :
      Simple Fruit
      Fruit Type :
      Dehiscent Dry Fruit (Legume / Pod)
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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