Pterocarpus indices seeds mature in June, commonly known as Amboine, Pashu Padauk, Malay Paduak, New Guinea Rosewood etc, is a large deciduous tree growing to 30-40 m tall, with a trunk up to 2 m diameter. Leaves are 12-22 cm long, with 5 - 11 leaflets. Flowers are produced in panicles 6-13 cm long containing a few to numerous flowers, slightly fragrant and have yellow or orange-yellow petals. Flowering is from Feb to May.
Pterocarpus indicus seeds
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- The hardwood, which is purplish, is termite resistant and rose-scented. The wood known in Indonesia as amboyna is the burl of the tree, named after Ambon, where much of this material was originally found. Often amboyna is finely sliced to produce an extremely decorative veneer, used for decoration and in making of furniture and keys on a marimba.
The flower is used as a honey source while leaf infusions are used as shampoos. Both flowers and leaves were said to be eaten. The leaves are supposedly good for waxing and polishing brass and copper. It is also a source of kino or resin.
In folk medicine, it is used to combat tumors. This property might be due to an acidic polypeptide found in its leaves that inhibited growth of Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells by disruption of cell and nuclear membranes. It was also one of the sources of lignum nephriticum, a diuretic in Europe during the 16th to 18th centuries. Its reputation is due to its wood infusions, which are fluorescent.
The tree is recommended as an ornamental tree for avenues and is sometimes planted in Puerto Rico as a shade and ornament. The tall, dome-shaped crown, with long, drooping branches is very attractive and the flowers are spectacular in areas with a dry season. It is very easily propagated from seed or large stem cuttings, but suffers from disease problems. It is widely planted as a roadside, park, and parking lot tree.