The tree can grow up to 30m in height with an umbrella shaped crown, with a crown spread of 20-30m. The bark is dark brown, rough and flaky in mature specimens. The leaves are twice pinnate compound. Small clusters of flowers are pinkish or whitish and slightly fragrant. The fruit pods are thick, long, straight and fleshy on the inside. The pods ripen black and do not split open. The seeds readily germinate into seedlings and sometimes while still inside the fruit. Epiphytes such as ferns and orchids tend to perch on old Rain Trees.
The leaflets begin to close about one and half hours before sunset to open about the same time after sunrise. The leaflets also close during the day when the sky is overcast, thus giving rise to the name, Rain Tree. This Central American species has been dispersed throughout the tropics since the middle of 1900s. It was introduced to Singapore in 1876 and it has spread throughout the region from there. As it provides an excellent shade, it was planted in the 1900s in coffee and nutmeg plantations and along roadsides. The sweetish fruit pulp is relished by cattle, goats, horses, pigs and even children in some countries. The girth of this Heritage Tree was 6.5m in Year 2003.