PNGTreesKey – Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre


Barry Conn (NSW) & Kipiro Damas (LAE).
Guide to trees of Papua New Guinea
Copyright held by the authors, National Herbarium of New South Wales, and Papua New Guinea National Herbarium

Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre

Flora Forestière de la Cochinchinensis (1899) Fig. 385.

Other Literature: B. Verdcourt, A Manual of New Guinea Legumes 312 (1979) Fig. 70.

Family: Fabaceae

Timber Group: Non-timber species

Field Characters: Large canopy tree (up to 25 m high) or Small sub-canopy tree; Bole cylindrical (up to 80 cm diam.); straight; buttresses buttresses absent; spines spines absent; aerial roots aerial roots absent; stilt roots stilt roots absent; Bark grey or brown, slightly rough, finely fissured; Subrhytidome (under-bark) orange or red; less than 25 mm thick; bark blaze consisting of one layer; faintly to non-aromatic; outer blaze white, markings absent; inner blaze white (straw-coloured), markings absent; bark exudate (sap) present, white/milky or yellow, flowing, colour not changing on exposure to air, sticky; terminal buds not enclosed by leaves.

Indumentum: Complex hairs absent; stinging hairs absent; mature twig indumentum (hairs) absent.

Leaves: Leaves spaced along branches, spiral (leaves occurring singly at a node and arranged spirally up the branchlet), compound (a leaf made up from two or more leaflets); petiole present, not winged, attached to base of leaf blade, not swollen; leaves pinnate (unbranched with more than three leaflets); petiolule not swollen; rachis present, absent, absent; leaves with a terminal leaflet (the number of leaflets odd - imparipinnate), broadest at or near middle, broadest below middle, or equally broad throughout much of length, 5.0-25.0 cm, 2.5-15.0 cm, leaflets opposite, slightly asymmetric or symmetric, terminal developing leaflet buds absent; venation pinnate, secondary veins open, prominent, intramarginal veins absent; leaves lower surface green, upper surface dark green, indumentum (hairs) absent; absent; domatia absent; stipules present, free, laterally placed, not encircling the twig, leafy, not fringed, small, not persistent.

Flowers: Inflorescence axillary, flowers on an unbranched axis, cones absent; flowers bisexual, stalked, flowers with one plane of symmetry, 10.0-18.0 mm long, diameter large (more than10 mm diam.) (c. 10 mm diam.); perianth present, with distinct sepals and petals whorls, inner perianth white or pale pink; 5, free; stamens 10, present, joined, free of the perianth; ovary superior, carpels joined (when more than one), locules 1; styles solitary, 1.

Fruits: Infrutescence arranged on unbranched axis, fruit 50.0-80.0 mm long, brown, not spiny, non-fleshy, simple, dehiscent, legume; seeds 1-2 (-3), much more than 10 mm long (16-26 mm long), not winged, broad (as wide as long), seed more than 10 mm diam. (flattened, 12-20 mm wide).

Distribution: West Sepik, East Sepik, Madang, Morobe, Western, Gulf, Central, Milne Bay, Papuan Islands, New Britain, New Ireland, Manus & Bougainville.

Pongamia pinnata
Botanical records
in PNGplants database

Map details

Notes: Notes This species is classified in Fabaceae subfamily Faboideae.