Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia


Pongamia pinnata

The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan - January

Common name -
Scientific name Pongamia pinnata (L.)Pierre
Family  Fabaceae - Faboideae

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

Species: With pinnate leaves.

Distribution The species is widely distributed from tropical Asia to northern Australia. 
Native habitat A prominent component of beach scrubs but also extends to lowland rainforests and vine thickets especially near streams.

Tall shrub to medium tree.

Flowering/fruiting In January and February it has delicate, Wisteria-like flowers which release their perfume at night.

Location in Garden

Beds 11 and 12 in the Connections Garden.   


 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.




Pongamia pinnata

Pongamia pinnata