Herbs & Plants

Adenanthera pavonina

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Botanical Name :Adenanthera pavonina
Family: Fabaceae
Species:A. pavonina

Synonyms:  Adenanthera gersenii, Adenanthera polita.

Common Names:Saga Tree.Red sandalwood, coral bean tree, sagaseed tree, red – bead tree, raktakambal, kokriki, olho-de-pavão, bois de condori, lopa.It is also known as Barbados pride, Coral-wood, Coralwood, Peacock flower fence, Red beadtree, Red sandalwood tree, Red sandalwood, Sandalwood tree, Saga; syn. Adenanthera gersenii Scheff., Adenanthera polita Miq., Corallaria parvifolia Rumph. The tree is common within the tropics of the old world.The species has many names in various local languages throughout its range, for example in Kerala it is known as Manchadi.

Adenanthera pavonina is native to India, Southeast China, Southeast Asia.It is also introduced in the following countries of the Americas: Brazil, especially in Caatinga vegetation; Costa Rica, Honduras, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Tobago, Venezuela, and the United States, specially in southern Florida.

Adenanthera pavonina is a species of Leguminous tree, used for its timber. It is medium- to large-sized deciduous tree, it can grow to a height of 20 m. It has a rounded crown and smooth, greyish bark that turns flaky with age. It is hardy and fast-growing. Leaves are twice pinnate, 10-40 cm long, with 2-6 pairs of side-stalks, each with 9-15 pairs of oblong-elliptic, 1-4 x 0.7-2.5 cm leaflets and a terminal one. Flowers are bisexual, 2 mm long, star-shaped, cream-yellowish, growing in dangling flower heads that resemble cat tails. The flowers turn dull orange and have a faint orange blossom smell. The pods are curved and split into twisted halves when dry to expulse 8-12 bright red, hard, pill-shaped seeds.

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Cultivation:The Saga Tree grows well in neutral to slightly acidic soils.

Edible Uses:
In Java, the seeds can also be roasted, shelled, and eaten with rice. If eaten raw, the seeds could cause intoxication. The young leaves are also edible once cooked.

Medicinal Uses:
The seeds are also known to possess medicinal value. Powdered seeds are made into plasters to quicken the ripening of boils and to cure headaches and rheumatism in India.

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High doses of the seed extract show an anti-inflammatory effect in studies in rats and mice.

Other Uses:
The trees have been a type of popular ornamental tree and were planted along roadsides in Singapore during the 1970s to 1980s. Now it is planted more as a shade plant in parks and gardens.

The seeds are used as beads. Children would collect the seeds to make into playthings. Due to their consistent mass (4 seeds make up 1 gram), the seeds were also used in the past as weights in many parts of Asia for weighing gold and even silver.

Its beads have long been a symbol of love in China, and its name in Chinese is xiang si dou (Chinese), or “mutual love bean”. This tree is useful for nitrogen fixation, and it is often cultivated for forage, as a medicinal plant, and as an ornamental garden plant and urban tree. The beauty of the seeds, their use as beads for jewelry, and their nourishing qualities (the raw seeds are toxic but can be eaten when cooked), have combined to cause the plant to be widespread. E. J. H. Corner states that in India, the seeds have been used as units of weight for fine measures, of gold for instance, throughout recorded history. The Malay name for the tree, saga, has been traced to the Arabic for ‘goldsmith’.

The small, yellowish flower grows in dense drooping rat-tail flower heads, almost like catkins. The curved hanging pods, with a bulge opposite each seed, split open into two twisted halves to reveal the hard, scarlet seeds. The young leaves can be cooked and eaten. The wood, which is extremely hard, is used in boat-building, making furniture and for firewood.

This tree is used for making soap, and a red dye can be obtained from the wood.

The wood of the Saga Tree is a type of hardwood timber used in house-building and furniture-making. It is also used as fuel wood. In powdered form, heartwood can be used as red dye.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider


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