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Pterocarpus indicus Willd.

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Common Name: Angsana, Sena, Burmese Rosewood, Philippine Mahogany, Andaman Redwood, Red Sandalwood, Padouk, Padauk, Narra, Pokok Sena, 紫檀木, 青龙木, 印度紫檀
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Caterpillar Food Plant Herb & Spice Coastal Roadside Tree / Palm Fragrant Ornamental Flowers Tree


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 (Big (>30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic, Heterotrophic (Symbiotic - Mutualistic Partner of)
Plant Shape Rounded, Weeping / Pendulous
Maximum Height 40 m
Tree or Palm – Trunk Diameter 2 m


Native Distribution Indochina, Malesia, Western Pacific
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Monsoon Forest, Coastal Forest, Riverine)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal

Description and Ethnobotany

Others - Plant Morphology Large tree with rounded, weeping crown. Evergreen in equatorial climates, but deciduous in areas with seasonal rainfall. Popular ornamental and shade tree in Southeast Asia. National tree of Philippines, where it is known as Narra. Widely used as 'instant tree' in Singapore during 1960s due to fast growth and ability to root from large branch-cuttings. Severely affected by fungal epidemic (Fusarium Wilt) during 1980s in Singapore. Susceptible to being attacked and defoliated by moth leaf-miners in recent years. Branches pendulous, quite weak, prone to being broken during storms.Flowers yellow, faintly fragrant, source of honey for bee pollinators. Periodic mass-blooming triggered by unknown factors, flowers last for a day. Fruits are disc-like pods with papery wings, non-dehisicent (unlike typcial legumes), take up to 6 months to mature, dispersed mainly by wind. Genus name 'Pterocarpus' is derived from ‘pteron’ and ‘karpos’, meaning ‘winged fruit’.
Ethnobotanical Uses Food (Herb and Spice)
Cultural / Religious ( Heritage Tree: There are 10 individuals of Pterocarpus indicus listed as Heritage Trees in Singapore. They are found all over various parts of Singapore. To find out more about these trees, please visit the Heritage Tree Register. )
[Others]: Reddish-brown, rose-scented hardwood is termite-resistant and used to make furniture. Red latex used to treat tumours, especially mouth cancer. Young leaves used as remedy for prickly heat and ulcers in Java.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant (Flowers) (Day)
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Easy to Grow, Saline Soils / Salt Spray
Landscape Uses Roadside Tree / Palm, Coastal, Shade Providing Tree / Palm
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment
Plant & Rootzone Preference or Tolerance Remarks Tolerate compacted clayey soils found in urban sites.

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Food Plant
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Bee))
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Water, Wind)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Diseases Fusarium Wilt, Leaf Miner
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting
Propagule Establishment Remarks Cuttings of branches root easily.


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Compound (Even-Pinnate)
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire - Wavy / Undulate
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Typical Foliar Area Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 40 Tree Dense Canopy

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Mature Bark Texture Fissured, Scaly
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root, Fibrous Root), Aboveground (Buttress Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Inflorescence Type Raceme
Flowering Opening Time Daytime
Flower Lifespan on Plant 1 Day
Flowering Habit Polycarpic
Flowering Period Remarks Ocassional mass-blooming triggered by unknown factors, possibly dry weather and cool nights.

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Indehiscent Dry Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 1800
Species ID 3093
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 17 August 2021.