This is a tall evergreen tree that can grow up to 25 m to 40 m in height. Its trunk is massive and cylindrical from the base. Its bark is smooth, pinkish-brown in colour, often cracking at the branch-trunk junction. It has compound leaves, with leaflets that are oblong elliptic, dark green, leathery, about 10 x 2cm in size, and dotted with minute oil glands. The flowers are about 3cm wide and smell of sour milk. Pods are heavy and woody and stink when bruised.
The West Indian Locust Tree originated from the tropical American jungles and was introduced to Singapore in 1875. A quick-growing evergreen tree, it can be recognised by the twin leaflets (compound leaves) and the woody fruit pods. The tree produces a strong timber and yields a resin used to manufacture a quality varnish called copal.