Pterocarpus soyauxii

Invasive species Disclaimer

In view of the fact that some tree species are invasive, the world Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) has put in place a policy document on Invasive Alien Species, currently under draft available at Here.

For more information on this subject, please refer to
100 of the World's worst Invasive and Alien Species.

Species Index    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Multiple Criteria Search

Abelmoschus moschatus
Acacia aneura
Acacia angustissima
Acacia aulacocarpa
Acacia auriculiformis
Acacia catechu
Acacia cincinnata
Acacia crassicarpa
Acacia elatior
Acacia erioloba
Acacia etbaica
Acacia ferruginea
Acacia glauca
Acacia holosericea
Acacia karroo*
Acacia koa
Acacia laeta
Acacia lahai
Acacia leptocarpa
Acacia leucophloea
Acacia mangium
Acacia mearnsii*
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia mellifera
Acacia nilotica subsp nilotica
Acacia pachycarpa
Acacia pennatula
Acacia polyacantha ssp. polyacantha
Acacia saligna
Acacia senegal
Acacia seyal
Acacia sieberiana
Acacia tortilis
Acacia xanthophloea
Acrocarpus fraxinifolius
Adansonia digitata
Adenanthera pavonina
Aegle marmelos
Afzelia africana
Afzelia quanzensis
Agathis macrophylla
Agathis philippinensis
Ailanthus altissima
Ailanthus excelsa
Ailanthus triphysa
Albizia adianthifolia
Albizia amara
Albizia anthelmintica
Albizia chinensis
Albizia coriaria
Albizia ferruginea
Albizia gummifera
Albizia julibrissin
Albizia lebbeck
Albizia odoratissima
Albizia procera
Albizia saman
Albizia versicolor
Albizia zygia
Aleurites moluccana
Allanblackia floribunda
Allanblackia stuhlmannii
Allanblackia ulugurensis
Alnus acuminata
Alnus cordata
Alnus japonica
Alnus nepalensis
Alnus rubra
Alphitonia zizyphoides
Alstonia boonei
Alstonia congensis
Alstonia scholaris
Altingia excelsa
Anacardium occidentale
Andira inermis
Annona cherimola
Annona muricata
Annona reticulata
Annona senegalensis
Annona squamosa
Anogeissus latifolia
Anthocephalus cadamba
Antiaris toxicaria
Antidesma bunius
Araucaria bidwillii
Araucaria cunninghamii
Arbutus unedo
Areca catechu
Arenga pinnata
Argania spinosa
Artemisia annua
Artocarpus altilis
Artocarpus camansi
Artocarpus heterophyllus
Artocarpus integer
Artocarpus lakoocha
Artocarpus mariannensis
Asimina triloba
Ateleia herbert-smithii
Aucomea klaineana
Averrhoa bilimbi
Averrhoa carambola
Azadirachta excelsa
Azadirachta indica
Azanza garckeana

Local names:
English (redwood,large fruited camwood,Gabon padouk,barwood,African padouk,African coralwood)

Pterocarpus soyauxii is a tree 27-34 m tall; bole length up to 17 m, girth up to 3.3 m with an undivided stem. Bark reddish-grey, detaching in flakes, slash white, exuding a red gum.

Leaves compound, unarmed; leaflets 11-13, alternate, lateral leaflet veins crowded but disappearing before leaf margins.

Flowers in pyramidal panicles; calyx turbinate, upper 2 teeth more or less connate, vexillum orbicular or broad-ovate; stamens connate; style curved round towards the base.

Fruit an obliquely orbicular, compressed indehiscent pod, 6-9 cms with numerous prickly thorns.

Pterocarpus is based on the Greek words ‘pteran’ meaning a wing and, ‘karpos’ meaning’ fruit.


The tree is native to West Tropical Africa and occurs in mixed deciduous and evergreen forests. It requires much light and moist soils.

Native range
Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Nigeria

Tree management

In West Africa, P. soyauxii is readily propagated from fallen seeds, germination is fast and seedlings grow rather fast too, these are tended in forest until when ready for cutting. The tree requires much light. Stump regrowth is weak and uneconomical for dye production.

Seed storage behaviour orthodox.

The tree is native to West Tropical Africa and occurs in mixed deciduous and evergreen forests. It requires much light and moist soils.

P. soyauxii is readily propagated from fallen seeds.

  P. soyauxii leaves are eaten as vegetables and have a high ascorbic acid content even after cooking.

Timber:  The wood commercially known as ‘African padouk’ (P. osun and P. tinctorius are also marketed under the same name) is of medium weight, very hard and durable, termite resistant, fading blood red in colour, impregnable with preservatives, difficult to plane, can be turned and polished. Used for walking sticks, canoe construction, buildings, wooden shovels, yam pestles and heavy furniture; pulping trials were satisfactory. There is an almost exclusive use of P. soyauxii timber for drums by African craftsmen because of its reputed high resonance qualities.  Redwood is an important lumber export of Cameroon.

Tannin or dyestuff:  Dye from the roots and heartwood is lumbered. Dye extracted by pounding bark in a mortar or in natural holes in rock, the pulverized material is then water moistened and molded for sale as cakes.

Medicine:  Bark extracts are used in warding off animal skin parasites in ethnoveterinary practices. Antifungal properties are reported for this plant.

Nitrogen fixing:  P. soyauxii is nitrogen fixing 

Other services:  The pulverized wood is used as a fetish medicine in medicomagical rites.