Species Guide: Common Urban Trees Uncategorized

Batai Laut

Yellow flame as a roadside tree. Photo by Goh Shang Ming

Common name: Yellow Flame, Yellow Flamboyant, Copper Pod

Malay name: Batai Laut

Scientific namePeltophorum pterocarpum

Conservation Status: Cultivated, Native to Malaysia


A medium-sized tree that grows up to 35 m tall. The tree sheds leaves seasonally. Tree crown is umbrella-shaped. Leaves are doubly divided. Flowers are fragrant particularly at night, bright yellow and arranged in clusters on upright stalks. The petals of flowers are crinkled and have reddish brown marks in the center. Bear flat, winged seedpods. The seedpods are red initially and turn black when ripe.

The crown of this tree is full of yellow flowers. Photo by Goh Shang Ming

Habit: Perennial tree

Cultivation: It is planted by seeds, cuttings or grafting

Ecological function: The flowers attract pollinators. The tree itself provides shade. It is nitrogen-fixing i.e. able to convert atmospheric nitrogen into more usable form in soil.

Pollinator: Bees, insects

Soil: Sand, loam, clay. It can tolerate heavy clay and saline soils

Moisture: Moist, well-drained soils

Shade: No shade

Use: Ornamental, timber

By ShangMing

A plant lover. I like small, medium, gigantic, ordinary, exotic, local, foreign plants. Just because they thrive to stand out.