Parkia speciosa Hassk.
A tall tree of up to 30 m or more, it has an umbrella-shaped crown. Leaves are alternately arranged, twice pinnate, 15-30 cm long, with 10-18 pairs of side stalks each bearing 20-35 pairs of leaflets. Leaflets are narrow, straight, asymmetric at the base and 5-11 x 1-2.5 mm. Flowers are small, about 1 cm long, crean-white, compacted onto a pear-shaped inflorescence head of 5-9 cm long and hanging from the branch on a 23-50 cm stalk. Flowers are unisexual - male or asexual at the base of the inflorescence head, bisexual at the apex. Fruits are long pods, 45–60 x 5-6.5 cm, straight or strongly twisted and swollen where the seeds are. They hang in bunches from the flowering heads. Bats help in the pollination of the flowers, attracted by the strong rancid smell of the flowers.
DistributionMalaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and peninsular Thailand.
LocalitiesBukit Timah Nature Reserve, Central Catchment Nature Reserve
The seeds are eaten as a vegetable, usually raw, cooked or roasted. Also eaten are the young leaves, immature pods and flower stalks. The seeds are used in traditional medicine to treat liver disease, oedema, kidney inflammation, diabetes and to expel intestinal worms. The leaves are used against jaundice. The timber can be used for the making of boxes and cabinets. The trees can be used as shade plants in coffee nurseries.
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Wee Y. C. & A. N. Rao, 1980. Anthesis and variations in floral structure of Parkia javanica. Malay. Forester 43:493–499.