Monday, 21 January 2013

Peltophorum pterocarpum

Peltophorum pterocarpum commonly known as Yellow Flame is native from India and Sri Lanka, through Southeast Asia to Northern Australia. It is from the family Fabaceae.

Reaching a height of 25 m, the Yellow flame is a deciduous tree with a crown shaped like an umbrella. Its leaves are bi-pinnate and reach to 60cm in length, with 16-20 pinnae attached. Each pinna has 20-40 oval leaflets, each 0.8-2.5cm long and 0.4-1.0cm in width. 

Flowers are bright yellow and grow in clusters on upright stalks. They have orange stamens and, crinkled petals with a reddish brown mark in the centre. It would be fragrant particularly at night. These flower clusters would then develop into seedpods of about 5-10cm long and 2.5cm broad. Trees will flower after 4 years. Flowers may occur throughout the year for younger trees, however, flowering usually occurs from March-May and a second flush of flowers may occur in September-November in Singapore. 

Seedpods are flat, thin and winged. In the initial stages seedpods are red, and then gradually turning black. Its flowers are pollinated by insects. There are currently two individuals of Peltophorum pterocarpum listed as Heritage Trees in Singapore. One can be found at Jalan Tan Tock Seng, while the other at Singapore River bank.

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