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Padauk

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Padauk

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Pterocarpus echinatus leaves
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Dalbergieae
Genus: Pterocarpus
Jacq.
Species

35, see text


Pterocarpus is a pantropical genus of trees in the family Fabaceae, most of which yield valuable timber traded as padauk (or padouk); other common names are mukwa or narra. The wood is marketed as amboyna when it has grown in the burl form.[1] The scientific name is Latinized Ancient Greek and means "wing fruit", referring to the unusual shape of the seed pods in this genus.

Uses

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 woods contain either water- or alcohol-soluble substances and can be used as dyes.

The padauk found most often is African Padauk from Pterocarpus 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 Pterocarpus macrocarpus while Andaman Padauk is Pterocarpus dalbergioides. Padauks can be confused with 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 and marimba keys, and guitars.

Some padauks, e.g. P. soyauxii, are used as herbal medicines, for example to treat skin parasites and fungal infections.[2]

Chemistry

Pterocarpin is a pterocarpan found in Pterocarpus spp.[3]

Species

A total of 35 species are currently accepted:[4]

Footnotes

References

  • West African plants - A Photo Guide.
  • International Legume Database & Information Service (ILDIS) (2005): . Version 10.01, November 2005. Retrieved 2008-NOV-01.
  • World Agroforestry Centre (WAC) [2008]: AgroForestryTree Database – . Retrieved 2008-NOV-01.

External links

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