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Peltophorum pterocarpum


Peltophorum pterocarpum (DC.) Backer ex K.Heyne

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Common Name: Yellow Flame, Jemerlang Laut, Yellow Flamboyant, Jamerelang, Balai, Batai, Batai Laut, Yellow Poinciana, Copper Pod, Rusty Shield Bearer, Rusty-shield Tree, 盾柱木, 黄盾柱木, 双翼豆, 翼果盾柱木


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Umbrella
Maximum Height 35 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 9 m to 12 m
Tree or Palm – Trunk Diameter 1 m


Native Distribution From Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malesia to northern Australia.
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Coastal Forest), Shoreline (Mangrove Forest, Sandy Beach)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A deciduous tree with a girth of up to 1 m and grows to 35 m tall.
Crown The crown is umbrella-shaped with an open crown density. 
Foliage Leaves are bipinnate, 30-60cm long, with 16-20 pinnae. Each pinna has 20-40 oval leaflets, each 0.8-2.5cm long and 0.4-1.0cm long.
Flowers Flowers are bright yellow and grow in clusters on upright stalks. Flowers have orange stamens and, each flower has crinkled petals with a reddish brown mark in the centre.
Fruit Seed pods are flat, thin and winged. They are reddish at first and then gradually turning brown-black. Seed pod can reach up to 5-10cm long and 2.5 cm broad.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are pollinated by insects.
Cultivation Peltophorum pterocarpum is propagated by seeds, grafting or branch cuttings. Before the transplantation of seedlings to the field, it is best to be raised in the nursery for one year. It prefers light to medium well-drained alkaline soils although it can also tolerate clay soils.
Etymology Greek peltophorum, bearing a shield, referring to the peltate stigma; Latin pterocarpum, winged-fruited, referring to the species’ fruits
Ethnobotanical Uses Cultural / Religious: Heritage Tree: There are currently 2 individuals of Peltophorum pterocarpum listed as Heritage Trees in Singapore. They can be found in various parts of Singapore. To find out more about these trees, please visit the Heritage Tree Register.
Others: Peltophorum pterocarpum provides wonderful shade and thus makes a great specimen for large landscapes and wide-open spaces such as large lawns or parks. It is also very suitable to be a street tree, however regular pruning is required. The elegant yellow flowers of Peltophorum pterocarpum makes it an ornamental tree. Peltophorum pterocarpum is used for fodder.  The bark can also be used as dyes as it contains tannins, giving a light yellow colour to leather. Tannin is also present in leaves and wood. In Java, the dye is used for batik work.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It suitable for planting along streets, in parks and gardens for its ornamental flowers, and umbrella shaped crown which provides excellent shade.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Landscape Uses Suitable for Roadsides, Coastal, Shade Providing Tree / Palm, General, Parks & Gardens, Beachfront / Shoreline
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden, Golden Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Water)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Heavy Clay Soils, Alkaline high pH Soils
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Grafting


Foliage Retention Deciduous
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Compound (Bipinnate)
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oval)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Purple, Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Dehiscent Dry Fruit , Legume / Pod

Image Repository



Master ID 1763
Species ID 3056
Species record last updated on: 01 November 2023.