Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre
Family : Papilionaceae
Common Name : പൊങ്ങം (Mal)
Pongam Tree (Eng)
IUCN Status : Least concern (LC) -
A fast-growing deciduous tree up to 20 metres tall that is thought to have originated in India and is found throughout Asia. It is a deciduous tree that grows to about 15-25 meters in height with a large canopy that spreads equally wide. The leaves are a soft, shiny burgundy in early summer and mature to a glossy, deep green as the season progresses. Small clusters of white, purple, and pink flowers blossom on their branches throughout the year, maturing into brown seed pods. The tree is well suited to intense heat and sunlight and its dense network of lateral roots and its thick, long taproot make it drought tolerant.
Trees to 18 m high, bark grey, smooth; branchlets lenticellate. Leaves imparipinnate, alternate; rachis 10-15 cm long, slender, pulvinate, pubescent; leaflets 5-7, opposite, 4.5-12 x 2-7 cm, elliptic-acuminate, elliptic-lanceolate, ovate or ovate-oblong, apex acuminate; lateral nerves 5-8 pairs, pinnate, intercostae reticulate, obscure; petiolule 6-10 mm long, pubescent; stipules lateral, small, oblong, caducous. Flowers purplish-white, 15-18 mm long, in lax axillary racemes; bracts small, cauducous. Calyx tube campanulate; minutely 5 toothed, apex truncate. Petals 5, clawed; standard suborbicular with curved folds above the claw; wings obliquely oblong, slightly adnate above the claws to the obtuse keel petals which are joined near the tip. Stamens 10, monadelphous, the vexillary stamen free below and above; anthers uniform. Ovary subsessile, inferior, 1-celled, ovules 2; style in curved, beardless; stigma capitate. Pod, 4-5 x 2-2.5 cm, obliquely oblong, flat, thick, pointed at both ends, indehiscent, slightly falcate; seed one, reniform.
Use: The seed oil is used for leather dressing, soap making, lubrication and in medicine, notably for the treatment of rheumatism.
Distribution : Indo-Malesia
Flowering & Fruiting : April-December