Peltophorum pterocarpum (DC.) K.Heyne

Last updated: 30 Jul 2015

Scientific Name

Peltophorum pterocarpum (DC.) K.Heyne


Baryxylum inerme (Roxb.) Pierre, Caesalpinia arborea Miq., Caesalpinia ferruginea Decne., Caesalpinia gleniei Thwaites, Caesalpinia inerme Roxb., Caesalpinia inermis Roxb., Inga pterocarpa DC., Inga pterocarpum DC. [Spelling variant], Peltophorum ferrugineum (Decne.) Benth., Peltophorum inerme (Roxb.) Naves, Peltophorum roxburghii (G.Don) Degener, Poinciana roxburghii G.Don [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Batai laut, jemerelang laut [2], batai, jemerlang [3][4]
English Yellow flame, copper pod, yellow Poinciana [2], copperpod, peltophorum, yellow-flamboyant, yellow flame tree, yellow-poinciana [3]
China Dun zhu mu [3]
India Bettada huli, bettada hunise, ivalvagai, iyalvakai, kondachinta, perungondrai, puccarrilpasanamayini, tamarshingi [3]
Indonesia Soga (General); soga jambal (Javanese) [2][3]
Thailand Non see (General); krathin paa (Trat); saan ngoen (Mae Hong Son) [2][3]; non si [4]
Philippines Siár (Sulu) [2][3]
Vietnam Lim sét, trac vàng [2], hoang linh, lim vang, lim xet [3].

Geographical Distributions

Peltophorum pterocarpum is distributed over a large area ranging from Sri Lanka, the Andaman Islands, Thailand and Indo-China (Vietnam and Cambodia), throughout the whole of Malaysia to northern Australia. In Malesia, the species occurs throughout Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, and locally in Papua New Guinea (mouth of Bensbach River). It is widely cultivated throughout its natural area of distribution, and also in the Bismarck Archipelago, India, tropical Africa, the West Indies, Central America, Florida and Hawaii. [2]

P. pterocarpum is a lowland species under natural conditions, rarely occurring above 100 m altitude. It frequently grows along beaches and in mangrove forests, especially along the inner margin of the mangroves. In Java, it is also found probably wild in Imperata fields and teak forests. The species prefers open forests. It has been suggested that yellow flame thrives best under more or less seasonal conditions. Under cultivation, P. pterocarpum can be grown well up to 600 m altitude, and sometimes even up to 1600 m such happened in Papua New Guinea. [2]

Botanical Description

P. pterocarpum is a member of the Leguminosae family. It is a deciduous, usually medium-sized tree that reaches up to 30 m tall but sometimes growing into a large tree up to 50 m tall, with a straight trunk and a dense umbrella-shaped crown. The trunk is generally up to 70 cm in diametre but often less, and sometimes buttressed. The bark is up to 15 mm thick, pink in cross section and light brown to red inside. [2]

The leaves are bipinnately compound with 4-15 pairs of pinnae, and the rusty pubescent petiole 25-30 cm long and rachis are together. The stipules are small. The leaflets are in 8-22 pairs per pinna, oblong-elliptic, measuring 8-30 mm x 3-10 mm, oblique at the base, rounded-emarginate at the apex, and finely pubescent beneath. [2]

The 5-merous flowers clustered in racemes are combined into a terminal panicle up to 45 cm long, fragrant and long-stalked. The sepals are 5-10 mm long and reflexed while the (ob)ovate or orbicular petals are 1.5–2.5 cm long, yellow, wavy and spreading. There are 10 stamens with woolly filaments at the base. The ovary is superior, hairy and with slender style. [2]

The fruit is an elliptic to oblong-lance-shaped pod, measuring 5-13.5 cm x 1.5-2.5 cm, shortly stalked, acute at the apex, more or less winged, smooth, longitudinally veined, has 1-5-seeds, and coloured copper when ripens but later turning blackish. [2]

The seeds are oblong, measuring 10 - 12 mm x 5 mm and flattened. [2]

The seedling is with epigeal germination, with hypocotyl 4-6 cm long, stalked, 3-nerved and with smooth cotyledons. [2]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data

No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of P. pterocarpum [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Peltophorum pterocarpum (DC.) K.Heyne [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2010 Jul 14; cited 2015 Jul 28]. Available from:
  2. Wulijarni-Soetjipto N, Lemmens RHMJ. Peltophorum pterocarpum (DC.) Backer ex K. Heyne In: Lemmens RHMJ, Wulijarni-Soetjipto N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 3: Dye and tannin-producing plants. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publishers, 1991; p. 101-104.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume IV M-Q. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 463-464.
  4. Herbal Medicine Research Centre. Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Vol. 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC-IMR: 2002. p.205.