Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Peltophorum pterocarpum



Peltophorum pterocarpum (copperpod)


  • Last modified
  • 21 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Peltophorum pterocarpum
  • Preferred Common Name
  • copperpod
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • P. pterocarpum is a fast-growing deciduous tree usually reaching a height of about 15 (-24) m with orange-yellow fragrant flowers. It has multiple uses and is widely cultivated throughout its natural area of distribution, and also in the...

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Mature tree (about 10 m tall) in flower. P. pterocarpum is widely used as an ornamental because of the attractive shape of the tree and the bright yellow, fragrant flowers.
TitleMature tree
CaptionMature tree (about 10 m tall) in flower. P. pterocarpum is widely used as an ornamental because of the attractive shape of the tree and the bright yellow, fragrant flowers.
CopyrightL.G. Saw
Mature tree (about 10 m tall) in flower. P. pterocarpum is widely used as an ornamental because of the attractive shape of the tree and the bright yellow, fragrant flowers.
Mature treeMature tree (about 10 m tall) in flower. P. pterocarpum is widely used as an ornamental because of the attractive shape of the tree and the bright yellow, fragrant flowers.L.G. Saw
Stand of P. pterocarpum.
CaptionStand of P. pterocarpum.
Copyright©Rafael T. Cadiz
Stand of P. pterocarpum.
TreeStand of P. pterocarpum.©Rafael T. Cadiz
CopyrightL.G. Saw
InflorescenceL.G. Saw
1. flowering branch
2. pair of leaflets
3. flower
4. fruit
5. seed
TitleLine artwork
Caption1. flowering branch 2. pair of leaflets 3. flower 4. fruit 5. seed
CopyrightPROSEA Foundation
1. flowering branch
2. pair of leaflets
3. flower
4. fruit
5. seed
Line artwork1. flowering branch 2. pair of leaflets 3. flower 4. fruit 5. seedPROSEA Foundation


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Peltophorum pterocarpum (DC.) Backer ex Heyne

Preferred Common Name

  • copperpod

Other Scientific Names

  • Baryxylum inerme (Roxb.) Pierre
  • Caesalpinia ferruginea Decne.
  • Caesalpinia inermis Roxb.
  • Inga pterocarpa DC.
  • Peltophorum ferrugineum (Decne.) Benth.
  • Peltophorum inerme (Roxb.) Naves ex Fernandez-Villar
  • Peltophorum roxburghii (G. Don) O. Deg.

International Common Names

  • English: copper-pod; rusty shield bearer; sagabark peltophorum; yellow flamboyant; yellow flame; yellow gold mohur; yellow poinciana

Local Common Names

  • India: bonmeza; ivalvagai; ivavakai; kondacinta; perungondrai; rain tree
  • Indonesia: soga; soga jambal
  • Malaysia: batai laut
  • Philippines: jamerelang laut; siar
  • Saint Lucia: gloden flambouyant
  • Thailand: krathin paa; no see; nonsi; saan ngoen
  • Vietnam: lim set; trac vang

EPPO code

  • PEFPT (Peltophorum pterocarpum)

Trade name

  • braziletto wood

Summary of Invasiveness

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P. pterocarpum is a fast-growing deciduous tree usually reaching a height of about 15 (-24) m with orange-yellow fragrant flowers. It has multiple uses and is widely cultivated throughout its natural area of distribution, and also in the Bismarck Archipelago, India, tropical Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, and Florida and Hawaii in the USA (Lemmens and Wulijarni-Soetjipto, 1991). It is considered a potential threat to swamp forest in Saint Lucia (Krauss, 2012).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Fabales
  •                         Family: Fabaceae
  •                             Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
  •                                 Genus: Peltophorum
  •                                     Species: Peltophorum pterocarpum

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The tropical genus Peltophorum, with 8 species, is a member of the legume family (Fabaceae), subfamily Caesalpinioideae. The best-known species is P. peltophorum, with the commonly used synonyms P. inerme and P. ferrugineum.


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P. pterocarpum is a deciduous tree usually reaching a height of about 15 (-24) m, although it may attain 50 m (Lemmens and Wulijarni-Soetjipto, 1991) and a diameter of 50 (-100) cm. The bark is smooth and grey (De Guzman et al., 1986). P. pterocarpum has a dense, spreading crown (Merrill 1912; Steiner 1986). It has a deep root system (Hairiah et al., 1992), making it very windfirm (Lemmens and Wulijarni-Soetjipto, 1991).


Leaves are large and much divided, 30-60 cm long, with 8-10 pairs of pinnae each bearing 10-20 pairs of oblong leaflets 0.8-2.5 cm long with oblique bases (De Guzman et al., 1986).

Inflorescences, flowers and fruits

The inflorescence is brown-tomentose (Merrill, 1912). Panicles are terminal with rust-coloured buds. Flowers orange-yellow, each about 2.5 cm in diameter, fragrant, particularly at night. Fruits 1-4 seeded pods, flat, thin, winged, 5-10 cm long, dark red when ripe, then turning black (De Guzman et al., 1986).


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P. pterocarpum is native to the Indo-Malayan region, and is found from the Andaman Islands and Sri Lanka westwards through Malesia to Papua New Guinea and northern Australia (Lemmens and Wulijarni-Soetjipto, 1991; De Guzman et al., 1986; Merrill, 1912).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 17 Dec 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Planted Reference Notes




-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresentPlanted
-Andhra PradeshPresentPlanted
-Madhya PradeshPresentPlanted
-Tamil NaduPresentPlanted
-Uttar PradeshPresent
-West BengalPresentPlanted
IndonesiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Irian JayaPresent
-Maluku IslandsPresent
MalaysiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresent
Sri LankaPresentPlanted

North America

Saint LuciaPresent, LocalizedIntroducedFew specimens in swampy spots and mangroves; potential threat to swamp forest
United StatesPresentPresent based on regional distribution.


AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Northern TerritoryPresent
Papua New GuineaPresent


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Under natural conditions, P. pterocarpum is a lowland species, rarely occurring above an altitude of 100 m. It frequently grows along beaches and in mangrove forests, especially the inner margins of mangroves. In Java it is also found growing wild in Imperata grassland fields and teak forests. The species prefers open or disturbed forest conditions.

Habitat List

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Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalSwamps Present, no further details
LittoralCoastal areas Present, no further details
LittoralMangroves Present, no further details

Biology and Ecology

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Physiology and Phenology

P. pterocarpum is fast-growing, and can reach a height of 9 m in 3 years (Troup and Joshi, 1983). In the Philippines, panicles appear from May to September (De Guzman et al., 1986), with flowering in March-April (Merrill 1912; Steiner 1986). In India, the general flowering period is March to May, although sporadic flowering may occur throughout the year (particularly in young trees), and a second flush of flowers may occur in September-November. As a fast-growing species, young trees raised from seed will, under good conditions, flower from age 4 years (Lemmens and Wulijarni-Soetjipto, 1991).

Environmental Requirements

P. pterocarpum will grow in tropical climates with a dry season of 1-3 months. It has been suggested that it thrives best under more or less seasonal conditions (Lemmens and Wulijarni-Soetjipto, 1991). It grows well in the Philippines, with an annual temperature range of 22-32°C. When cultivated, it can be grown well up to altitudes of 600 m, and sometimes up to 1600 m, such as in Papua New Guinea (Lemmens and Wulijarni-Soetjipto, 1991). Since the species has been planted along seashores, it can grow well on sandy soils, although it can flourish on clay soils as long as there is good drainage. P. pterocarpum is reported to have survived on a heavy-textured, impervious Typic Ustropept soil in a dry zone, although growth was stunted (Gupta, 1991).

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
21 -10 0 1600

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) 12
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 22 32
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 28 35
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 18 22


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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration13number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall15004500mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

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Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium


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P. pterocarpum is a fast-growing tree with multiple uses. It is of potential use for reforestation, in agroforestry farming systems and as a source of green manure. It has been tested in rotational alley-cropping/fallow systems in Sumatra, where it shows promise (Van Noordwijk et al., 1992). It is also used in urban forestry as an ornamental and shade tree because of its spreading crown and attractive and fragrant flowers which are sometimes used as cut flowers (Lemmens and Wulijarni-Soetjipto, 1991). Although the branches are prone to damage from high winds, it is widely planted in gardens, parks and as an avenue tree throughout the tropics.

Although not a commercial timber species, the wood is used locally for light construction purposes, cabinet-making, and as fuelwood (De Guzman et al., 1986; Troup and Joshi, 1983). The bark of P. pterocarpum has been an important component of the dark or black 'soga' dye in Java, used for batik work. It is also used for tanning leather, and preserving and dyeing fishing nets. In Indonesia, the bark is used for fermenting palm wine. In traditional medicine it is used as an astringent to cure or relieve intestinal disorders after pain at childbirth, sprains, bruises and swelling or as a lotion for eye troubles, muscular pains and sores (Lemmens and Wulijarni-Soetjipto, 1991; De Guzman et al., 1986). It is also used for gargles and tooth powders.

It is suitable for use as a fodder for browsing herbivores (Nag and Matai, 1992). In India, it is a source of pollen for the dammer bee Trigona iridipennis (Ramanujam et al., 1993).

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Fodder/animal feed


  • Agroforestry
  • Ornamental
  • Revegetation


  • Dye/tanning
  • Green manure

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Wood Products

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Sawn or hewn building timbers

  • For light construction


  • Marquetry
  • Wood carvings


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Arvind Agrawal, Pati AK, Deepak Karkun, 1997. Seasonal variation in infestation characteristics of bag worm (Lepidoptera: Psychidae) in avenue plantation of Acacia and Peltophorum in the Chhattishgarh region. Current Science, 72(3): 211-214

Athar M, Mahmood A, 1985. Qualitative study of the nodulating ability of legumes of Pakistan. List 3. Tropical Agriculture, UK, 62(1):49-51; 25 ref

Bhat NS, Arpita Roy, Prakash NA, Jaganath Gowda, 1996. The role of insects in the pollination and seed set of Peltophorum pterocarpum (DC.) (Fam: Leguminosae). Insect Environment, 2(3): 100-101

Chaichanasuwat O, Wang BSP, Wasuwanich P, 1992. Evaluating seed quality of Peltophorum pterocarpum X-radiography and germination. Technical Publication ASEAN Canada Forest Tree Seed Centre Project, No. 12, iv + 4 pp.; Reprinted from ACIAR Proceedings Series No. 28 (1990). Tropical tree seed research. Proceedings of an international workshop, pp. 68-71; 7 ref

Chayamarit K, 1986. Leguminous plants in the mangrove formations in Thailand. Thai Forest Bulletin Botany, No. 16, 119-153

Gopikumar K, Mahato KC, 1993. Germination and growth behaviour of selected tree species in the nursery. Indian Forester, 119(2):154-156; 4 ref

Graves A, Berlinner P, Gev I, 1997. Transpiration in two common tree species of Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India, using the calibrated heat pulse method to measure sap flux. Current Science, 72(3): 196-201

Graveson R, 2012. The Plants of Saint Lucia (in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean). The Plants of Saint Lucia (in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean).

Gupta GN, 1991. Effects of mulching and fertilizer application on initial development of some tree species. Forest Ecology and Management, 44(2-4):211-221; 11 ref

Gupta GN, Mohan S, 1991. Response of various tree species to management and their suitability on degraded sandy clay loam soil of a semi arid region. Indian Journal of Forestry, 14(1):33-41; 5 ref

Guzman E de, Umali RM, Sotalbo ED, 1986. Guide to Philippine flora and fauna. Natural Resources Management Center, Ministry of Natural Resources and University of the Philippine. Manila, Philippines: JMC Press Inc

Hairiah K, Van Noordwijk M, Santoso B, Syekhfani MS, 1992. Biomass production and root distribution of eight trees and their potential for hedgerow intercropping on an ultisol in southern Sumatra. Special issue: N management in sustainable cropping systems on an ultisol. Agrivita, 15(1):54-68; 38 ref

Handayanto E, Cadisch G, Giller KE, 1995. Decomposition and nitrogen mineralization of selected hedgerow tree prunings. In: Cook HF, Lee HC, eds, Soil management in sustainable agriculture. Proceedings Third International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture, Wye College, University of London, UK, 31 August to 4 September 1993, 113-122; 15 ref

Howlander MA, 1992. Host range, suitability of host plants as food, and seasonal abundance of the bagworm moth, Pteroma plagiophleps Hamps (Lepidoptera: Psychidae) in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Journal of Zoology, 20(1): 177-183

Iqbal MZ, Mahmood MT, 1995. Periodic growth of some tree seedlings during summer in urban areas. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, 4(2):55-58; 10 ref

Iqbal MZ, Shafiq M, Rizvi SWA, 1997. Effect of traffic exhaust on roadside trees during different seasons. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, 6(5): 55-59

Ismail S, 1996. New developments in kiln schedules for some Sarawak timbers. In: Proceedings of the TRTTC/STA Forest Products Seminar `96, 11-13 March 1996, Kuching Hilton Hotel, Malaysia: 76-95

Krauss U, 2012. 161 Invasive Alien Species present in Saint Lucia and their current status. Caribbean Alien Invasive Species Network (CIASNET), 12 pp.

Lemmens RHMJ, Wulijarni-Soetjipto N (Editors), 1991. Plant resources of South-East Asia. No. 3. Dye and tannin-producing plants. pp.195

Merrill ED, 1912. A Flora of Manila. Manila, Philippines: Bur. Printing

Nag A, Matai S, 1992. Chemical composition of some fodder trees in and around Calcutta. Indian Veterinary Journal, 69(5):411-414; 11 ref

Nagadesi PK, Arun Arya, 2013. Rotting of Peltophorum ferrugineum (Decne.) Benth. by pathogenic lignicolous fungi in Rajpipla, Gujarat, India. Journal on New Biological Reports, 2(1):17-27.

National Academy of Sciences, 1979. Tropical legumes: resources for the future. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences

Noordwijk M van, Hairiah K, Sitompul SM, Syekhfani MS, 1992. Rotational hedgerow intercropping + Peltophorum pterocarpum = New hope for weed-infested soils. Agroforestry Today, 4(4):4-6

Palani M, Dasthagir MG, 1993. Seasonal variation in nutritive value of Peltophorum pterocarpum (DC) Baker ex. K. Heyne. Myforest, 29(2):159-161; 12 ref

Priyanka Thakur, Dhiman SR, Gupta YC, Bhardwaj DR, Bharati Kashyap, 2011. Peltophorum pterocarpum: a magnificent ornamental tree for mid-hills of Himachal Pradesh. MFP News, 21(2):10-11

Ramanujam CGK, Fatima K, Kalpana TP, 1993. Nectar and pollen sources for dammer bee (Trigona iridipennis Smith) in Hyderabad (India). Indian Bee Journal, 55(1-2):25-28; Bj

Rao MSRM, Padmaiah M, Raizada A, Ayyappa B, 1994. Productive utilisation of non-arable lands through watershed management in the semi-arid regions of India. Indian Forester, 120(1):48-57; 4 ref

Rao PVL, De DN, 1987. Haploid plants from in vitro anther culture of the leguminous tree, Peltophorum pterocarpum (DC) K. Hayne (Copper pod). Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture, 11(3):167-177; 7 pl.; 17 ref

Santapau H, 1966. The rusty shield-bearer (Peltophorum pterocarpum (DC.) Backer). In: Common Trees. New Delhi, India: National Book Trust, 112-115

Sethuraman MG, Sulochana N, Kameswaran L, 1984. Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity of Peltophorum pterocarpum flowers. Fitoterapia, 55(3):177-179; 12 ref

Sitompul SM, Syekhfani MS, Van der Heide J, 1992. Yield of maize and soybean in a hedgerow intercropping system. Special issue: N management in sustainable cropping systems on an ultisol. Agrivita, 15(1):69-75; 14 ref

Srimathi P, Rai RSV, Surendran C, 1991. Studies on method of seed collection and optimum duration for acid scarification in three tree legumes. Myforest, 27(1):57-61; 21 ref

Steiner ML, 1986. Philippine Ornamental Plants (Third Edition). Enrian Press, Bulacan, Philippines

Tanah J, 1996. Quality interaction in pruning mixtures and its effect on N mineralization in prunings. Agrivita, 19(2): 43-50

Troup RS, Joshi HB, 1983. The Silviculture of Indian Trees. Vol IV. Leguminosae. Delhi, India; Controller of Publications

Uriarte MT, 1994. Air-pollution resistant species recommended for urban areas (A. Highly resistant species). Techno-Info Series, 4(1) Jan-March. Quezon City, Philippines: ERDS-NCR-DENR

Van Noordwijk M, Hairiah K, Ms S, Flach EN, Syekhfani MS, 1991. Peltophorum pterocarpa (DC) Back (Caesalpiniaceae), a tree with a root distribution suitable for alley cropping on acid soils in the humid tropics. In: McMichael BL, Persson H, eds, Plant roots and their environment. Elsevier Science Publishers, Netherlands: pp. 526-532; 8 ref

Witt, A., Luke, Q., 2017. Guide to the naturalized and invasive plants of Eastern Africa, [ed. by Witt, A., Luke, Q.]. Wallingford, UK: + 601 pp. doi:10.1079/9781786392145.0000

Zodape ST, 1991. The improvement of germination of some forest species by acid scarification. Indian Forester, 117(1):61-66; 9 ref

Distribution References

CABI, Undated. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI

Graveson R, 2012. The Plants of Saint Lucia (in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean). In: The Plants of Saint Lucia (in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean),

Rasthra Vardhana, 2007. Plant's havoc by Cuscuta spp. in district Meerut U.P. India. Plant Archives. 7 (2), 917-918.

Rasthra Vardhana, 2007a. Plant's havoc by Cuscuta spp. in district Ghaziabad U.P. India. Plant Archives. 7 (2), 921-922.

Seebens H, Blackburn T M, Dyer E E, Genovesi P, Hulme P E, Jeschke J M, Pagad S, Pyšek P, Winter M, Arianoutsou M, Bacher S, Blasius B, Brundu G, Capinha C, Celesti-Grapow L, Dawson W, Dullinger S, Fuentes N, Jäger H, Kartesz J, Kenis M, Kreft H, Kühn I, Lenzner B, Liebhold A, Mosena A (et al), 2017. No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide. Nature Communications. 8 (2), 14435.

Varshnay R, Yeshwanth H M, 2018. First record of Termatophylum orientale Poppius (Hemiptera: Miridae: Deraeocorinae) from India with biological note. Journal of the Entomological Research Society. 20 (3), 67-73.

Witt A, Luke Q, 2017. Guide to the naturalized and invasive plants of Eastern Africa. [ed. by Witt A, Luke Q]. Wallingford, UK: CABI. vi + 601 pp. DOI:10.1079/9781786392145.0000

Links to Websites

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GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gateway source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

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