Adenanthera pavonina L.

Last updated: 25 May 2016

Scientific Name

Adenanthera pavonina L.        


Adenanthera gersenii Scheff. Corallaria parvifolia Rumph. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Saga tumpul (Peninsular) [2]
English Coralwood [2], bean tree, peacock tree, circassian bean, [3]
India Rajana, Condori [3]
Indonesia Kitoke laut (Sundanese); saga telik, segawe sabrang (Javanese) [2]
Thailand Ma klam ta chang, ma klam ton (General); ma hok daeng (Northern) [2]
Laos Lam2 [2]
Myanmar Mai-chek [2]
Philippines Malatanglin (Filipino) [2]
Cambodia Chan' trèi [2]
Sri Lanka Mas-moca [3]
Cuba Mato Colorado [3]
Brazil Carolina [3]
Germany Korallenbaum, Condoribaum, Rotes Sandelholz [3]
France Bois de condari, Bois de corail [3].

Geographical Distributions

Adenanthera pavonina is distributed in Sri Lanka, southern Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, southern China, Thailand, throughout Malesia (except for the Philippines) and the Solomon Islands; widely cultivated and occasionally naturalised within this region, but also commonly planted in India and Africa. [2]

Botanical Description

A. pavonina is a member of the family Fabaceae. It is mostly deciduous, small to medium-sized trees that can reach up to 30(-40) m tall. It is rarely shrubs. The bole is straight and cylindrical to rather poorly shaped, branchless for up to 16 m, measures up to 100(-200) cm in diametre and usually with low and small buttresses but occasionally up to 4 m high. The bark surface is smooth to cracked, fissured or flaky and reddish-brown to brown, grey-brown or pale pinkish-grey. The inner bark is soft and pale brown. The crown spreads, diffuse and uneven. [2]

The leaves are arranged spirally, bipinnate and without glands. The first 2 leaves are arranged opposite while the subsequent ones are arranged spirally. The first few leaves are pinnate while the subsequent ones are bipinnate. The leaflets are alternate and entire. The stipules are small and caducous. [2]

The inflorescence is terminal and axillary, consists of many-flowered, simple, spike-like racemes, solitary or few together. The flowers are 5-merous, small and with jointed pedicels. The sepal lobes are valvate as well as the petals. There are 10 free stamens. The ovary is superior, 1-locular and with many ovules and simple style. [2]

The fruit is a strap-shaped, many-seeded pod, straight to spirally twisted, and dehiscent along both sutures. The seed is red or red and black, shiny and broadly ellipsoid to broadly obovoid or orbicular. The seedling is with epigeal germination. The cotyledons are emergent and fleshy while the hypocotyl is elongated. [2]


Adenanthera species are found scattered in primary and secondary, evergreen to dry deciduous rainforest, but also in open savanna-like vegetation, from sea-level up to 900 m altitude. Most species occur on a wide variety of soil types including sand, clay, limestone and other rocks. [2]

Chemical Constituent

A. pavonina  is reported to contain 1,2-diacylglycerols, 1,3-diacylglycerols, 24-epiclerosterol, 24-methyl cholesterol,  beta-sitosterol, docosanoic acid, eicosanoic acid, eicosenoic acid, eicosadienoic acid, isofucosterol, lignoicerotic acid, linoleic acid, lysophosphatidylcholine, myristic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, pavonin, pentadecanoic acid, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, stearic acid, stigmasterol, sitosterol, and triacylglycerols. [4][5]

Plant Part Used

Leaves, bark and seeds [6]

Traditional Use

The leaves and seeds of A. pavonia had been used in the treatment of rheumatism and gout. Powdered seeds is also used for treatment of abscesses. The bark is considered a tonic while the seeds in powdered form is used in treatment of headaches. [6]

Preclinical Data


Anti-inflammatory activity

Methanol extract of of A. pavonia seeds was evaluated for its anti-inflammatory effects in animal models. The investigators found a significant anti-inflammatory activity in all animal models tested (carrageenan-induced paw oedema in rats, acetic-acid-induced vascular permeability in mice, pleurisy induced with carrageenan) in a dose dependant manner. [7]

Ethanol extract of A. pavonia  leaves also has anti-inflammatory activity which could possibly be due to the presence of active constituents like β-sitosterol and stigmasterol and probably also due to the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis. [8]

Analgesic activity

In the acetic acid-induced writhing in mice it was found that the methanolic extract of the seeds of A. pavonia could inhibit it. Additionally, both the early and late phase of the formalin-induced paw. [7]


Acute toxicity

It was found that the methanol extract of A. pavonia produced reduced motor activity. The LD50 of the extract was found to be 1.36 g/kg. [7] 

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

The seeds are poisonous when taken internally, especially when in a powdered state. [9]

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of A. pavonina [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Adenanthera pavonina L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2010 Jul 14; cited 2016 May 25]. Available from:
  2. Sosef MSM, Hong LT, Prawirohatmodjo S, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 5(3): Timber trees: Lesser-known timbers. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher; 1998.
  3. Hanelt P, editor. Mansfeld's encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops: (except ornamentals). Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2001; p. 583.
  4. Zarnowski R, Jaromin A, Certik M, et al. The oil of Adenanthera pavonina Linn. seeds and its emulsions. Z Naturforsch. 2004;59(5-6):321-326.
  5. Ali MS, Ahmed F, Azhar I, Pervez MK. Pavonin: A new five-membered lactone from Adenanthera pavonina Linn. (Mimoaceae). Nat Prod Res. 2005 Jan;19(1):37-40.
  6. Mat-Salleh K, Latif A. Tumbuhan ubatan Malaysia. Bangi, Selangor: Pusat Pengurusan Penyelidikan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 2002. p. 356.
  7. Olajide OA, Echianu CA, Adedapo AD, Makinde JM. Anti-inflammaotry studies on Adenanthera pavonina seed extract. Inflammopharmacology. 2004;12(2):197-202.
  8. Mayuren C, Ilavarasan R. Anti-inflammatory activity of ethanolic leaf extracts from Adenanthera pavonina (L) in rats. Pharmacognosy. 2009;1(2):125-128.
  9. Drury H. The useful plants of India with notices of their chief value in commerce, medicine, and the arts. London: William H. Allen & Co., 1873; p. 16.