Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Andira inermis (W.Wright) Kunth ex DC.

Species:A. inermis
Common Names:Bastard Mahogany, Brown Heart, Bay Seed, Cabbage Bark.


A small evergreen tree to 20 m tall, it has a dense, dark green crown. Leaves are simple pinnate compound, 18-33 cm long, spirally arranged, with 4-5 pairs of opposite leaflet as well as a terminal leaflet. Leaflets are ovate, 4-9 x 2.5-4 cm and wavy along the edge. Flowers in compact terminal bunches of 10-20 cm long and wide, bisexual, lilac-pink and scentless. Fruits are atypical of the family, having a fibrous pulp enclosing a round seed and not splitting open like most legumes do when ripe.

Read more about the Fabales order.
Read more about the Fabaceae family.


Tropical South America through the Wets Indies and west tropical Africa.

Human Uses

A ghood wayside tree as the crown gives good shade and the many dense bunches of flowers are attractive. It makes a good windbreak and the timber is used in furniture. The bark can be used as a vermifuge and the seeds as a purgative.


Chong, K. Y., H. T. W. Tan & R. T. Corlett, 2009. A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore: Native, Naturalised and Cultivated Species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 273 pp.

Wee, Y. C. 1990. A guide to the wayside trees of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. (2nd ed.) 160 pp.

Wee, Y. C. 1992.  A guide to medicinal plants. Singapore Science Centre. 160 pp.

Wee, Y. C. 2003. Tropical trees and shrubs - A selection for urban plantings. Sun Tree Pub., Singapore. 392pp.

Wee, Y.C. 2005. Plants that heal, thrill and kill. SNP Reference, Singapore. 172pp

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