Pterocarpus echinatus Pers.
Pterocarpus vidalianus Rolfe
Echinodiscus echinatus Miq.
Lingoum echinatum (Pers.) Kuntze
Lingoum indicum (Willd.) Kuntze
Lingoum rubrum Rumph.
Lingoum saxatile Rumph.
Lingoum wallichii Pierre
Pterocarpus blancoi Merr.
Pterocarpus carolinensis Kaneh.
Pterocarpus casteelsi ealaensis Hauman
Pterocarpus draco auct.
Pterocarpus klemmei Merr.
Pterocarpus obtusatus Miq.
Pterocarpus pallidus Blanco
Pterocarpus papuanus F.Muell.
Pterocarpus pubescens Merr.
Pterocarpus wallichii Wight & Arn.
Pterocarpus zollingeri Miq.
Common Name: Amboyna
Pterocarpus indicus is a large evergreen to deciduous tree with a large, spreading crown of many long branches that are at first ascending, but eventually arch over and sometimes droop at the ends. ; it usually grows 15 - 20 metres tall, but exceptionally can be up to 40 metres. It has a short, clear bole that can be 2 metres in diameter but is usually of poor form - twisted and deeply fluted, often with pronounced buttresses[
]. The tree produces sweet-scented yellow flowers that are produced copiously in panicles and racemes[
The colourful wood ranks among the most valuable woods in the world and the tree is widely harvested for timber[
]. It is also one of the most widely planted ornamental and shade trees in the tropics, where it is often used as a street tree[
]. The national tree of the Philippines, it flowers gregariously, the whole crown becoming as though painted yellow[
Traditionally, the wood has been so much in demand for cabinet class furniture that nearly everywhere its existence in the wild is precarious[
]. Subpopulations have greatly declined in the wild because of overexploitation, and sometimes illegal exploitation, of the timber, as well as from increasing general habitat loss[
]. It has become extinct in parts of its range[
].The tree has been classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(1998)[
E. Asia - southern China, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea and the western Pacific Islands.
A widespread tree found in lowland primary and some secondary forest, mainly along tidal creeks and rocky shores at elevations up to 750 metres[
]. Also found in beach forest, on coral sand and on rocky shores[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Pollinators||Honey bees, Insects
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
A plant of the moist to wet tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 750 metres, though it can be cultivated at higher elevations[
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 24 - 32°c, but can tolerate 12 - 37°c[
]. The plant is not frost tolerant.. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 2,000 - 3,000mm, but tolerates 1,500 - 3,500mm[
Amboyna behaves like a pioneer and grows best in an open position[
]. Succeeds in a range of soils from sandy loams to clays with a pH from neutral to very strongly acid[
]. Prefers a fertile, moisture-retentive soil[
]. Tolerates moderate levels of salt in the soil[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.5, tolerating 5 - 7.5[
]. As an urban tree, amboyna is relatively wind-firm and seldom suffers branch breakage.
Under favourable conditions, trees in Singapore have been known to grow an average of 33 metres in height and 1.55 metres in girth in 11 years, or an average annual increment of 1.2 metres height and 14 cm girth[
Open-grown trees usually begin flowering and fruiting between 5 and 10 years of age[
]. Plants can flower and produce fruit all year round[
The roots can become quite large and grow near the surface, the tree should therefore be planted several metres away from sidewalks and other structures[
Seedlings are slower growing than cuttings and exhibit considerable variation in vigour. A strict culling program would be necessary to ensure that only the best stocks are planted out[
Rooted cuttings can be established readily on nearly all kinds of soils, from coastal sands to inland clays, in urban and garden situations, and even in quite small planting holes dug into pavements. However, establishment trials in forest areas have had mixed results and some have failed[
]. The reasons are not clear[
Trees of all sizes and ages easily regenerate new shoots when lopped or pollarded[
]. In Papua New Guinea, logged forest trees readily regenerate new plants from the roots[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
The young leaves and fragrant flowers are said to be eaten[
]. Those who eat them probably concentrate such meals during the leaf flush and flowering periods[
The kino obtained from the trunk is sticky, bitter and oily[
]. It is said to be antibilious, emetic, and sternutatory and is used to treat throat ailments, mouth sores and is a folk remedy for tumours, especially of the mouth[
]. It was once administered in the treatment of diarrhoea, often combined with opium[
The dried leaves are mixed with water and drunk daily as a treatment for headaches[
]. An infusion of the young leaves is used in the treatment of constipation, stomach pains, fevers, asthma and mouth ulcers[
]. The fresh leaves are chewed with betel nut in order to ease coughs[
The young leaves are applied externally to boils, prickly heat and ulcers[
]. The finely powdered leaves are applied to a ruptured vagina[
The leaves are reported to significantly inhibit the growth of Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells[
The root juice is used to treat syphilis[
The bark is chewed by females with irregular periods in order to induce menstruation[
]. An infusion of the dried bark is used in the treatment of pneumonia[
The juice of the fresh bark is applied topically to treat wounds and sores[
A nitrogen-fixing tree, it has been recommended for use in agroforestry systems and as a shade tree for coffee and other crops[
A red dye is obtained from the bark[
]. The wood gives a reddish dye, more fugitive than that of the related Pterocarpus santolinus[
A source of kino[
]. Kino is a red substance resembling resin, obtained by tapping several unrelated tropical trees. It is used locally, as an astringent and in tanning[
The leaf infusion is used as a shampoo[
The heartwood is brick red to golden brown in colour but ages to a dull brown leather colour[
]. The wood is moderately hard, moderately heavy, easy to work, pleasantly rose-scented, takes a fine polish, develops a range of rich colours from yellow to red, and has conspicuous growth rings, which impart a fine figure to the wood[
]. Remarkably, such growth rings are developed even in the non-seasonal humid tropics[
]. The wood shapes well, takes a high polish, and resists termites and rot[
]. It is used for high class furniture and cabinets, decorative sliced veneer, interior wall panelling, feature flooring (including strip and parquet), musical instruments, gun stocks, rifle butts, turned articles, knife handles, boat building and specialised joinery[
The highly prized Amboyna burl, one of the rarest and most valued wood products in the world, is marked with little twisted curls and knots in a manner more varied than bird's-eye maple. There is a distinctive sweet smell when working the wood[
]. The more red the wood, the heavier it is, but an average density might be 720 kg/m³. It is little used for ornamental turning, but because the burl is so exquisitely figured, it makes a nice compliment to a piece to use it for finials or perhaps a cabochon-like inlay on a flat box top[
Although the wood is not necessarily recommended as firewood, it certainly could be used for fuel[
]. Some Pterocarpus burn green[
Seed - easy[
]. No pre-germination treatment is necessary[
]. Because shelling the fragile seeds from the tough pods is difficult by hand and currently impossible mechanically, pods are sown with the seeds inside[
]. Germination rates between 24 - 57% have been recorded, with the first seeds germinating after 5 days and the last after 3 months[
]. Pods are lightly covered with potting mixture in germination beds or trays and kept moist until germination. Planting seeds with the pods requires thinning the plants soon after emergence. When true leaves develop, the seedlings are transplanted into nursery bags or pots filled with a potting mixture. Seedlings about 50cm in height are suitable for most forestry plantings[
Air-dried seeds in their pods will still germinate after 1 year of storage at room temperature[
Cuttings of the species can be rooted. In the Philippines, branch cuttings of P. Indicus about 8 cm in diameter are rooted after hormone treatment to produce instant trees[