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Pongamia pinnata

In early summer it has soft, shiny burgundy new leaves which glow in the light. These will age to bright lime green and then to dark green as the season progresses. 

 It is a fast-growing, adaptable tree for tropical and sub-tropical regions which requires excellent drainage and a sunny location. It grows easily from seed.

All parts of the plant are toxic and will induce nausea and vomiting if eaten. Interestingly, it is also used extensively throughout its range in traditional medicine.

Scientific namePongamia pinnata (L.)Pierre
FamilyFabaceae - Faboideae

Genus: From pongam, the Tamil name for this tree.

Species: With pinnate leaves.

DistributionThe species is widely distributed from tropical Asia to northern Australia.
Native habitatA prominent component of beach scrubs but also extends to lowland rainforests and vine thickets especially near streams.
DescriptionTall shrub to medium tree.
Flowering/fruitingIn January and February it has delicate, Wisteria-like flowers which release their perfume at night.
Location in gardenBeds 11 and 12 in the Connections Garden.
Garden ExplorerView Pongamia pinnata on Garden Explorer