|Adenanthera pavonina with the red seeds, India.|
Adenanthera pavonina is a species of Leguminous tree, used for its timber, also known as Barbados pride, Coral-wood, Coralwood, Peacock flower fence, Red beadtree, Red sandalwood tree, Red sandalwood, Sandalwood tree, Saga; syn. Adenanthera gersenii Scheff., Adenanthera polita Miq., Corallaria parvifolia Rumph. The tree is common within the tropics of the old world. The species has many names in various local languages throughout its range, for example in Kerala it is known as Manchadi. It is also introduced in the following countries of the Americas: Brazil, especially in Caatinga vegetation; Costa Rica, Honduras, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Tobago, Venezuela, and the United States, specially in southern Florida.
Its beads have long been a symbol of love in China, and its name in Chinese is xiang si dou (Chinese: 相思豆), or "mutual love bean". This tree is useful for nitrogen fixation, and it is often cultivated for forage, as a medicinal plant, and as an ornamental garden plant and urban tree. The beauty of the seeds, their use as beads for jewelry, and their nourishing qualities (the raw seeds are toxic but can be eaten when cooked), have combined to cause the plant to be widespread. E. J. H. Corner states that in India, the seeds have been used as units of weight for fine measures, of gold for instance, throughout recorded history. The Malay name for the tree, saga, has been traced to the Arabic for 'goldsmith'.
The small, yellowish flower grows in dense drooping rat-tail flower heads, almost like catkins. The curved hanging pods, with a bulge opposite each seed, split open into two twisted halves to reveal the hard, scarlet seeds. The young leaves can be cooked and eaten. The wood, which is extremely hard, is used in boat-building, making furniture and for firewood.
This tree is used for making soap,  and a red dye can be obtained from the wood.
High doses of the seed extract show an anti-inflammatory effect in studies in rats and mice.
- E. J. H. Corner, "Wayside Trees of Malaya: Vol. I", Malayan Nature Society, 4th ed., 1997
- Species used for Soap, Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases
- Olajide O.A., Echianu C.A., Adedapo A.D., Makinde J.M. (2004). "Anti-inflammatory studies on Adenanthera pavonina seed extract". Inflammopharmacology 12 (2): 196–202. doi:10.1163/1568560041352310. PMID 15265320.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Adenanthera pavonina|
- International Legume Database & Information Service: Adenanthera pavonina
- Adenanthera pavonina
- USDA Plants Profile: Adenanthera pavonina
- Adenanthera pavonina L. Medicinal Plant Images Database (School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University) (traditional Chinese)(English)