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Adenanthera pavonina L.


Adenanthera pavonina L.




Adenanthera gersenii Scheffer.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia      Saga tumpul (Peninsular).                                                                
English Coralwood.
Indonesia Kitoke laut (Sundanese), saga telik, segawe sabrang (Javanese).
Thailand Ma klam ta chang, ma klam ton (General), ma hok daeng (Northern).
Philippines Malatanglin (Filipino).
Myanmar Mai-chek.

Chan' trèi.



Geographical Distributions

Adenanthera pavonina is distributed in Sri Lanka, southern Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, southern China, Thailand, throughout Malesia (except for the Philippines) and the Solomon Islands; widely cultivated and occasionally naturalised within this region, but also commonly planted in India and Africa.


Adenanthera pavonina is mostly deciduous, small to medium-sized trees that can reach up to 30(-40) m tall. It is rarely shrubs. The bole is straight and cylindrical to rather poorly shaped, branchless for up to 16 m, measures up to 100(-200) cm in diametre and usually with low and small buttresses but occasionally up to 4 m high. The bark surface is smooth to cracked, fissured or flaky and reddish-brown to brown, grey-brown or pale pinkish-grey. The inner bark is soft and pale brown. The crown spreads, diffuse and uneven.

The leaves are arranged spirally, bipinnate and without glands. The first 2 leaves are arranged opposite while the subsequent ones are arranged spirally. The first few leaves are pinnate while the subsequent ones are bipinnate. The leaflets are alternate and entire. The stipules are small and caducous.

The inflorescence is terminal and axillary, consists of many-flowered, simple, spike-like racemes, solitary or few together. The flowers are 5-merous, small and with jointed pedicels. The sepal lobes are valvate as well as the petals. There are 10 free stamens. The ovary is superior, 1-locular and with many ovules and simple style.

The fruit is a strap-shaped, many-seeded pod, straight to spirally twisted, and dehiscent along both sutures. The seed is red or red and black, shiny and broadly ellipsoid to broadly obovoid or orbicular. The seedling is with epigeal germination. The cotyledons are emergent and fleshy while the hypocotyl is elongated.

Ecology / Cultivation

Adenanthera species are found scattered in primary and secondary, evergreen to dry deciduous rainforest, but also in open savanna-like vegetation, from sea-level up to 900 m altitude. Most species occur on a wide variety of soil types including sand, clay, limestone and other rocks.

Line Drawing / Photograph


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  1) Safety


  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.5(3): Timber trees: Lesser-known timbers.

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