Pongamia pinnata is an indigenous plant to India, Burma and Myanmar
considered mainly for its nitrogen fixing characteristic.
It is commonly found throughout the Asia and coastal India where it is
also called pongam tree, milletia pinnata and honge tree.
Pongamia pinnata is deciduous legume tree growing to 15-80 feet in
height with widely diffused canopy.
The leaves of Indian beech tree are soft and lustrous burgundy while the
colour changes to green when it matures.
The flowers are white, pink or purple borne in clusters throughout the
year on the branches.
This is a potent nitrogen fixation plant having dense roots and thick
taproot which promotes nitrogen fixation.
Pongam is humid plant which cultivates best in moist and humid
typography with the rainfall ranging from 500 mm to 2500 mm.
This plant can grow to its best in every soil ranging from rocky to
clayey but should be well-drained.
It is found mainly near seashores and areas with high temperature and
Root, bark, seeds.
Indian beech tree is reported to contain alkaloids demethoxy-kanugin,
gamatay, glabrin, glabrosaponin, kaempferol, kanjone, kanugin, karangin,
neoglabrin, pinnatin, pongamol, pongapin, quercitin, saponin,
b-sitosterol, and tannin.
Fatty acid composition: palmitic, 3.7-7.9%, stearic 2.4-8.9, arachidic
2.2-4.7, behenic 4.2-5.3, lignoceric 1.1-3.5, oleic, 44.5-71.3, linoleic
10.8-18.3, and eicosenoic 9.5-12.4%.
The timber of pongam tree is being tough used as fuel wood and also in
the making of cartwheel, agricultural equipments and tool handles.
The seeds of pongam are used to extract a kind of oil which is commonly
used as fuel for cooking and in lamps.
The oil is also considered good lubricant, pesticide and has been used
in making of soap and tannin.
As a folk remedy oil from seeds is also used in the treatment of
rheumatism and various skin disease.
In arid regions the leaves of pongam tree serve as fodder to goat and
The dried leaves are used as insect repellent in stored grains.