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Pongamia pinnata

(Common name:- Indian beech tree)

Classification

Pongamia pinnata

History

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.

Plant Description

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.

Cultivation

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 rainfall.

Parts Used

Root, bark, seeds.

Constituents

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%.

Uses

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 cows.

The dried leaves are used as insect repellent in stored grains.

Names





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