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Pterocarpus is a pantropical genus of trees in the family Fabaceae. It belongs to the subfamily Faboideae, and was recently assigned to the informal monophyletic Pterocarpus clade within the Dalbergieae.[1][2] Most species of Pterocarpus yield valuable timber traded as padauk (or padouk); other common names are mukwa or narra. P. santalinus also yields the most precious rosewood in China known as Zitan.[3][4] The wood from the narra tree (P. indicus) and the Burmese padauk tree (P. macrocarpus) is marketed as amboyna when it has grown in the burl form.[5] The scientific name is Latinized Ancient Greek and means "wing fruit", referring to the unusual shape of the seed pods in this genus.

Pterocarpus
Starr 070727-7640 Pterocarpus indicus.jpg
P. indicus seed pods
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Dalbergieae[1][2]
Genus: Pterocarpus
Species

35, see text

Synonyms
  • Amphymenium Kunth
  • Phellocarpus Benth.
  • Pterocarpus L.
Wood of P. officinalis

Contents

UsesEdit

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 P. 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 P. macrocarpus while Andaman padauk is P. dalbergioides. Padauks can be confused with true 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. It is an important material in traditional Chinese furniture.

Some padauks, e.g. P. soyauxii, are used as herbal medicines, for example to treat skin parasites and fungal infections.[6]

ChemistryEdit

Pterocarpin is a pterocarpan found in Pterocarpus spp.[7]

SpeciesEdit

A total of 35 species are currently accepted:[8][9]

NotesEdit

1 Some sources treat P. echinatus as a synonym of P. indicus.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Lavin M, Pennington RT, Klitgaard BB, Sprent JI, de Lima HC, Gasson PE (2001). "The dalbergioid legumes (Fabaceae): delimitation of a pantropical monophyletic clade". Am J Bot. 88 (3): 503–33. doi:10.2307/2657116. PMID 11250829.
  2. ^ a b Cardoso D, Pennington RT, de Queiroz LP, Boatwright JS, Van Wyk BE, Wojciechowskie MF, Lavin M (2013). "Reconstructing the deep-branching relationships of the papilionoid legumes". S Afr J Bot. 89: 58–75. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2013.05.001.
  3. ^ "Zitan | The Wood Database - Lumber Identification (Hardwood)". www.wood-database.com. Retrieved 2018-05-13.
  4. ^ "Chinese National Standard for Rosewood Furniture - QB/T 2385-2008" (PDF).
  5. ^ Meier E. "The Wood Database".
  6. ^ "AgroForestryTree Database entry for Pterocarpus soyauxii". AgroForestryTree Database. World Agroforestry Centre (WAC). Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  7. ^ Pterocarpin at knapsack_jsp
  8. ^ "ILDIS LegumeWeb entry for Pterocarpus". International Legume Database & Information Service. Cardiff School of Computer Science & Informatics. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  9. ^ USDA; ARS; National Genetic Resources Program. "GRIN species records of Pterocarpus". Germplasm Resources Information Network—(GRIN) [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved 11 February 2014.

External linksEdit