Common name: Rain Tree, Monkey Pod
Malay name: Pukul Lima, Hujan-Hujan
Scientific name: Samanea saman
Conservation status: Least concerned, Cultivated, Introduced (Tropical Americas)
A medium-sized tree that grows up to 30 m tall. Tree crown is spreading and umbrella-shaped. Leaves are doubly divided, fold up in early morning and during cloudy days. It bears clusters of fluffy flowers with pink tips and white bases. Flowers are slightly fragrant. It produces seedpods that are black and break into segments when mature.
Habit: Perennial tree
Cultivation: It is planted by seeds, stumps or cuttings
Ecological function: The flowers attract pollinators. The tree is nitrogen-fixing i.e. able to convert atmospheric nitrogen into more usable form in soil. It provides shade. The prunings of this tree can be used as green manure to improve soil fertility. In Thailand, it is used as a host plant for Lac Insect (Laccifer lacca).
Soil: Sand, loam, clay. It can tolerate heavy clay and poor soils
Moisture: Dry, moist, wet soils. This tree is drought-tolerant
Shade: No shade, semi-shade
Use: Edible (fruit), timber