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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales

Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Faboideae
Tribus: Dalbergieae
Genus: Pterocarpus
Species: P. acapulcensis – P. albopubescens – P. amazonum – P. amphymenium – P. angolensis – P. antunesii – P. belizensis – P. brenanii – P. casteelsii – P. claessensii – P. dalbergioides – P. dubius – P. erinaceus – P. gilletii – P. hockii – P. homblei – P. indicus – P. lucens – P. macrocarpus – P. marsupium – P. megalocarpus – P. michelianus – P. mildbraedii – P. monophyllus – P. mutondo – P. officinalis – P. orbiculatus – P. osun – P. rohrii – P. rotundifolius – P. santalinoides – P. santalinus – P. soyauxii – P. steinbachianus – P. tessmannii – P. tinctorius – P. velutinus – P. vidalianus – P. villosus – P. zehntneri – P. zenkeri
Source(s) of checklist:

Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Pterocarpus in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2020 Nov 12. Reference page.


Pterocarpus Jacq., 1763

Type species: Pterocarpus officinalis Jacq.


Pterocarpus L. = Pterocarpus Jacq.
Pterocarpus P.J.Bergius = Dalbergia L.f.
Pterocarpus Kuntze = Derris Lour.


Amphymenium Kunth
Ancylocalyx Tul.
Echinodiscus Benth.
Etaballia Benth.
Griselinia Scop.
Lingoum Adans.
Malaparius Bosc
Malaparius Rumph. ex Bosc
Moutouchi Aubl.
Nephraea Hassk.
Nephrea Noronha
Phellocarpus Benth.
Pterocarpos St.-Lag.
Pterocarpus L.
Weinreichia Rchb.

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Tropics & Subtropics
Andaman Is., Angola, Argentina Northeast, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bismarck Archipelago, Bolivia, Borneo, Botswana, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Burkina, Cabinda, Cambodia, Cameroon, Caprivi Strip, Caroline Is., Central African Repu, Chad, China South-Central, China Southeast, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jawa, KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Leeward Is., Lesser Sunda Is., Liberia, Malawi, Malaya, Maldives, Mali, Maluku, Mauritania, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nansei-shoto, Nepal, New Guinea, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Panamá, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Santa Cruz Is., Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Is., Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Suriname, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad-Tobago, Uganda, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Windward Is., Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe
Introduced into:
Assam, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Seychelles

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Jacquin, N.J. 1763. Selectarum stirpium Americanarum historia, in qua ad Linnaeanum systema determinatae descriptaeque sistuntur plantae illae, quas in insulis Martinica, Jamaica, Domingo, aliisque, et in vicinae continentis parte, observavit rariores; adjectis iconibus in solo natali delineatis. XII + 284 pp., index, 184 tt. Ex officina Krausiana, Vindobonae [Vienna]. BHL Biblioteca Digital Reference page. : 283

Additional references

Klitgård B.B., Forest F., Booth T.J. & Saslis-Lagoudakis C.H. 2013. A detailed investigation of the Pterocarpus clade (Leguminosae: Dalbergieae): Etaballia with radially symmetrical flowers is nested within the papilionoid-flowered Pterocarpus. South African Journal of Botany 89: 128–142. DOI: 10.1016/j.sajb.2013.07.006 Open access
Sinjushin, A.A. 2019. Notes on floral symmetry in the Pterocarpus clade (Leguminosae: Papilionoideae: Dalbergieae). Wulfenia 26: 175-188. ResearchGate Reference page.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Pterocarpus in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2020 Nov 12. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2022. Pterocarpus. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2022. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2022 May 22. Reference page. differs in synonymy
International Plant Names Index. 2020. Pterocarpus. Published online. Accessed: Nov 12 2020.
Tropicos.org 2020. Pterocarpus. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: {{{3}}} Nov12 2020.

Vernacular names
suomi: Veripihkapuut

Pterocarpus is a pantropical genus of trees in the family Fabaceae. It belongs to the subfamily Faboideae, and was recently assigned to the informal monophyletic Pterocarpus clade within the Dalbergieae.[1][2] Most species of Pterocarpus yield valuable timber traded as padauk (or padouk); other common names are mukwa or narra. P. santalinus also yields the most precious red sandalwood in China known as Zitan.[3][4] The wood from the narra tree (P. indicus) and the Burmese padauk tree (P. macrocarpus) is marketed as amboyna when it has grown in the burl form.[5] The scientific name is Latinized Ancient Greek and means "wing fruit", referring to the unusual shape of the seed pods in this genus.


Padauk wood is obtained from several species of Pterocarpus. All padauks are of African or Asian origin. Padauks are valued for their toughness, stability in use, and decorativeness, most having a reddish wood. Most Pterocarpus[6] woods contain either water- or alcohol-soluble substances and can be used as dyes.

The padauk found most often is African padauk from P. soyauxii which, when freshly cut, is a very bright red/orange but when exposed to sunlight fades over time to a warm brown. Its colour makes it a favourite among woodworkers. Burmese padauk (ပိတောက်) is P. macrocarpus while Andaman padauk is P. dalbergioides. Padauks can be confused with true rosewoods to which they are somewhat related, but as a general rule padauks are coarser and less decorative in figure. Like rosewood, padauk is sometimes used to make xylophone, organ and marimba keys, and guitars. It is an important material in traditional Chinese furniture.
African padauk wood

Some padauks, e.g. P. soyauxii, are used as herbal medicines, for example to treat skin parasites and fungal infections.[7]

Pterocarpin is a pterocarpan found in Pterocarpus spp.[8]

A total of 35 species is currently accepted:[9][10]

Pterocarpus acapulcensis Rose
Pterocarpus albopubescens Hauman
Pterocarpus amazonum (Benth.) Amshoff
Pterocarpus angolensis DC.—kiaat
Pterocarpus antunesii (Taub.) Harms
Pterocarpus brenanii Barbosa & Torre
Pterocarpus claessensii De Wild.
Pterocarpus dalbergioides DC.—Andaman padauk, Andaman redwood, East Indian mahogany
Pterocarpus echinatus Pers.[Note 1]
Pterocarpus erinaceus Poir.—muninga, barwood, vène
Pterocarpus gilletii De Wild.
Pterocarpus hockii De Wild.
Pterocarpus homblei De Wild.
Pterocarpus indicus Willd.—Pashu padauk, Malay padauk, New Guinea rosewood
Pterocarpus lucens Guill. & Perr.
Pterocarpus macrocarpus Kurz—Burmese padauk
Pterocarpus marsupium Roxb.—Indian kino, Malabar kino, benga, bijiayasal (w Nepal), venkai
Pterocarpus mildbraedii Harms
Pterocarpus mutondo De Wild.
Pterocarpus officinalis Jacq.
Pterocarpus orbiculatus DC.
Pterocarpus osun Craib
Pterocarpus rohrii Vahl
Pterocarpus rotundifolius (Sond.) Druce
subsp. polyanthus (Harms) Mendonça & E. P. Sousa
var. martinii (Dunkley) Mendonça & E. P. Sousa
var. polyanthus (Harms) Mendonça & E. P. Sousa
subsp. rotundifolius (Sond.) Druce
Pterocarpus santalinoides DC.—mututi
Pterocarpus santalinus L. f.—red sandalwood, red sanders
Pterocarpus soyauxii Taub.—African padauk, African coralwood
Pterocarpus ternatus Rizzini
Pterocarpus tessmannii Harms
Pterocarpus tinctorius Welw.
Pterocarpus velutinus De Wild.
Pterocarpus villosus (Benth.) Benth.
Pterocarpus violaceus Vogel
Pterocarpus zehntneri Harms
Pterocarpus zenkeri Harms


1 Some sources treat P. echinatus as a synonym of P. indicus.


Lavin M, Pennington RT, Klitgaard BB, Sprent JI, de Lima HC, Gasson PE (2001). "The dalbergioid legumes (Fabaceae): delimitation of a pantropical monophyletic clade". Am J Bot. 88 (3): 503–33. doi:10.2307/2657116. JSTOR 2657116. PMID 11250829.
Cardoso D, Pennington RT, de Queiroz LP, Boatwright JS, Van Wyk BE, Wojciechowskie MF, Lavin M (2013). "Reconstructing the deep-branching relationships of the papilionoid legumes". S Afr J Bot. 89: 58–75. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2013.05.001.
"Zitan | The Wood Database - Lumber Identification (Hardwood)". www.wood-database.com. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
"Chinese National Standard for Rosewood Furniture - QB/T 2385-2008" (PDF).
Meier E. "The Wood Database".
"Narra". OneToTree. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
"AgroForestryTree Database entry for Pterocarpus soyauxii". AgroForestryTree Database. World Agroforestry Centre (WAC). Archived from the original on 13 February 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
"Pterocarpin at knapsack_jsp". Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
"ILDIS LegumeWeb entry for Pterocarpus". International Legume Database & Information Service. Cardiff School of Computer Science & Informatics. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
USDA; ARS; National Genetic Resources Program. "GRIN species records of Pterocarpus". Germplasm Resources Information Network—(GRIN) [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2014.

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