Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Rain tree, Golden flame, Yellow poinciana, Copper-pod, Rusty shield bearer, Sagabark peltophorum, Yellow flame, Yellow gold mohur, Yellow flamboyant

+ Tree Species

Peltophorum pterocarpum

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

Rain tree is native to the Indo-Malayan region, and is found from the Andaman Islands and Sri Lanka westwards through Malesia to Papua New Guinea and northern Australia. Under natural conditions, P. pterocarpum is a lowland species, rarely occurring above an altitude of 100 m. It frequently grows along beaches and in mangrove forests, especially the inner margins of mangroves. The species prefers open or disturbed forest conditions. P. pterocarpum will grow in tropical climates with a dry season of 1-3 months. It thrives best under more or less seasonal conditions in coastal vegetation, rain forests and savanna woodlands. In Kampala, Rain tree can be found at Uganda Golf course club among other places.

+ Description

Rain tree is a deciduous tree usually reaching a height of 15 (-24) m, although it may attain 50 m and a diameter of 50 (-100) cm.

BARK: smooth, grey; crown dense, spreading.

LEAVES: large, 30-60 cm long, with 8-10 pairs of pinnae each bearing 10- 20 pairs of oblong leaflets 0.8-2.5 cm long with oblique bases.

FLOWERS: orange-yellow, each about 2.5 cm in diameter, fragrant, particularly at night; inflorescence brown-tomentose, panicles terminal with rust-coloured buds.

FRUITS :1-4 seeded pods, flat, thin, winged, 5-10 cm long, dark red when ripe, then turning black.

+ Uses

Medicine: bark, the flowers, leaflets and buds. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Peltophorum+pterocarpum

Agroforestry: planted as a shade tree in coffee and cacao plantations and is used in shelterbelts because it is wind firm, young trees are often planted in an intercropping system with mahogany or Tectona grandis, fixes atmospheric nitrogen, used for reforestation and is used as a source of green manure, can be used as a hedge, suitable for use as a fodder, used in apiculture (a source of pollen for the dammer bee).

An ornamental tree.

The bark furnishes a yellowish brown dye, which serves the dyeing of cotton and batik products.

The bark contains 11 - 21% tannin which is used for preserving and dyeing fishing nets.

The tree is widely appreciated for providing shade.

The wood is used locally for light construction purposes, boat building, cabinet making, sawn or hewn building timbers, wood ware, woodcarving and marquetry.

The tree is used as fuel wood.

+ Propagation

Seeds, grafting, cuttings.

+ Management

Fast-growing tree. Pruning.

+ Remarks

The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials. It can be grown as a hedge and is also planted as a pioneer species for restoring native woodland. A very beautiful and elegant ornamental tree, it is widely cultivated, both for ornament and shade, throughout its natural range, and also in many other areas of the tropics.

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