Oroxylum indicum (L.) Kurz

Oroxylum indicum (L.) Kurz




Bignonia indica L. var. α, Bignonia pentandra Lour., Calosanthes indica (L.) Blume.

Vernacular Names


Beka, bonglai, kulai.


Midnight horror.


Pongporang (Sundanese), kayu lanang, mungli (Javanese).


Pingka-pingkahan (Tagalog), abong-abong (Bisaya), kamkampilan (Iloko).


Pi ka.


Lin may, ung ka.


Phe kaa (Central), litmai (Northern), lin faa (North-eastern).


N[us]c n[as]c, ho[af]ng b[as] nam, m[ooj]c h[oof] di[eej]p.

Geographical Distributions

Oroxylum indicum is found from India eastward to southern China and the Philippines, and throughout Southeast Asia; From Indonesia eastward to Sulawesi and the Lesser Sunda Islands. It is locally cultivated near human settlements.


Oroxylum indicum is a semi-deciduous and sparingly branched tree that can grow up to 27 m tall. Its trunk is up to 40 cm in diametre, with grey bark, with prominent leaf scars, thick twigs, pithy but turns hollow later and lenticellate.

The leaves are crowded, imparipinnate, 3-4 times pinnate and measure 0.5-2 m long. The petiole is long while rachis is swollen at points of insertion. The stipules are absent. The leaflets are ovate to oblong, measuring 4-11(-15) cm x 3-9 cm, with wedge-shaped or mostly oblique base, acuminate at apex, entire and with scattered glands on the lower surface.

The inflorescence is an erect raceme, terminal, measures 25-150 cm long, and with peduncle and partitioned rachis. The flowers are bisexual while the pedicel is 2-4 cm long and bracteolate. The sepal is coriaceous, bell-shaped, containing water in bud, measures 2-4 cm long, 1.5-2 cm in diametre, brown or dirty violet and becoming almost woody in fruit. The petal is funnel-shaped, measures about 10 cm long with 5 lobes, subequal, with wrinkled margin, reddish outside and yellowish to pinkish inside. There are 5 stamens that are inserted in the throat and hairy at the base. The ovary is superior, 2-celled and many-ovuled.

The fruit is a pendent capsule, sword-shaped measuring 45-120 cm x 6-10 cm, with flat valves, almost woody and finally black.

The seed measures 5-9 cm x 2.5-4 cm, including the membranous and transparent wing. Seedling is with epigeal germination. The hypocotyl is elongated while cotyledons are leafy.

Ecology / Cultivation

Oroxylum indicum is a short-lived nomad tree, nowhere gregarious, always encountered in canopy openings, secondary growths and thickets. It tolerates a wide range of both climatic and soil conditions, and occurs mostly below 1000 m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2.