Peltophorum pterocarpum (copperpod)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Habitat List
- Biology and Ecology
- Latitude/Altitude Ranges
- Air Temperature
- Rainfall Regime
- Soil Tolerances
- Uses List
- Wood Products
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Peltophorum pterocarpum (DC.) Backer ex Heyne
Preferred Common Name
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
- PEFPT (Peltophorum pterocarpum)
- braziletto wood
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
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 TreeTop of page
- 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 NomenclatureTop of page
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.
DescriptionTop of page
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).
DistributionTop of page
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 TableTop of page
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.
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Planted||Reference||Notes|
|-Andaman and Nicobar Islands||Present||Planted, Natural|
|Indonesia||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|Malaysia||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|Sri Lanka||Present||Planted, Natural|
|Kenya||Present||Introduced||Witt and Luke, 2017|
|Tanzania||Present||Introduced||Witt and Luke, 2017|
|USA||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
Central America and Caribbean
|Saint Lucia||Localised||Introduced||Graveson, 2012||Few specimens in swampy spots and mangroves; potential threat to swamp forest|
|Australia||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Australian Northern Territory||Present||Natural|
|Papua New Guinea||Present||Natural|
HabitatTop of page
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 ListTop of page
|Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-natural||Swamps||Present, no further details|
|Coastal areas||Present, no further details|
|Mangroves||Present, no further details|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
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).
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 RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
Air TemperatureTop of page
|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|
RainfallTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit||Description|
|Dry season duration||1||3||number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall|
|Mean annual rainfall||1500||4500||mm; lower/upper limits|
Rainfall RegimeTop of page Bimodal
Soil TolerancesTop of page
UsesTop of page
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 ListTop of page
Animal feed, fodder, forage
- Fodder/animal feed
- Green manure
Wood ProductsTop of page
Sawn or hewn building timbers
- For light construction
- Wood carvings
ReferencesTop of page
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
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
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). http://www.saintlucianplants.com
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, 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. http://www.ciasnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/IAS-present-in-SLU-May-2012-revision.pdf
Merrill ED, 1912. A Flora of Manila. Manila, Philippines: Bur. Printing
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. http://researchtrend.net/paper2013/5%20JNBR%202(1)%205.pdf
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
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
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: CABI.vi + 601 pp. http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158959 doi:10.1079/9781786392145.0000
Distribution MapsTop of page
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