Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Adenanthera pavonina L.

Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flower. © Barry Jago
Leaves and fruit. © G. Sankowsky
Dehisced fruit. © W. T. Cooper
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Linnaeus, C. von (1753) Species Plantarum 2: 384. Type: Habitat in India.

Common name

Red Beantree; Circassan Tree; Zumbic Tree; Sandalwood, Red; Sandalwood, False Red; Sandal Beadtree; Red Bead Tree; False Red Sandalwood; False Jequirity; Coralwood; Circassian Tree; Barricarri; Bead Tree; Red Sandalwood


Deciduous; leafless for a period in July or August. Blaze odour resembling that of beans (Phaseolus vulgaris).


Leaflet blades about 2-5 x 0.7-2.5 cm, leaflet stalks short, about 0.1-0.2 cm. Compound leaf axis channelled on the upper surface.


Corolla about 4 mm long. Staminal filaments about 4 mm long. Anther apex aristate (with a stalked gland). Ovules about 12.


Pods about 22 x 1.6 cm. Seeds quite hard. Testa shiny red.


Cotyledons erect, fleshy, obovate, about 10-12 x 8-9 mm. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflet blades elliptic, apex mucronate, base oblique or obtuse; stipules very small, visible only with a lens. A number of very small red glands visible on very young growth at all stages. Seed germination time 11 to 24 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 200 m. Grows in and on the margins of well developed lowland rain forest and gallery forest. Also occurs in Asia, Malesia and New Caledonia.

Natural History & Notes

Raw seeds are an intoxicant. (Austin, D. F. 1998. Poisonous Plants of Southern Florida).

This species has been used medicinally in India. Cribb (1981).

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