Characteristics of Copperpod Tree (Peltophorum pterocarpum) in the Wild

Peltophorum pterocarpum
Copperpod or Yellow Flamboyant is a tree species native to tropical Southeast Asia which includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Later, this tree was also found growing in India.

It is a deciduous tree that can grow to 25 meters in height with a trunk diameter of up to 1 meter. The tree itself is still in the Leguminosae family.

The natural habitat of the Copperpod tree is lowland, this tree is rarely found above 100 m above sea level. However, it can also grow if planted manually at an altitude of 1,600 m above sea level.

Copperpod trees are often found growing around the coast and behind mangrove forests. On the island of Java, this tree grows wild in teak forests, savanna, and grass fields. Copperpod trees like places that are open and exposed to sunlight all day long.


Characteristics of Copperpod Leaf

Peltophorum pterocarpum Leaf
Source : and Kim Starr

The leaves are bipinnate, 30-60 cm long, and contain 16-20 pinnae, each 8-25 mm long and 4-10 mm wide.


Characteristics of Copperpod Flower

Peltophorum pterocarpum Flower
Source : and Kim Starr

The flowers are yellow, 2.5-4 cm in diameter, appearing in large compound races of up to 20 cm.

Copperpod trees begin flowering after about four years or so of age.


Characteristics of Copperpod Fruit

Peltophorum pterocarpum Fruit
Source : Valke

The fruit is 5-10 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, pink when light, black when ripe, and contains one to four seeds.


Characteristics of Copperpod Tree

Peltophorum pterocarpum Tree
Source : and Kim Starr

The Copperpod tree is deciduous, grows to a medium size of about 20-25 meters, and a trunk diameter of about 70-90 cm. However, in the wild, the trees can be up to 50 meters tall (but very rare). The bark is 15 mm thick and pink on the inside.


Copperpod trees are widely grown in the tropics as an ornamental tree, especially in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Florida, and Hawaii.

The tree has been widely planted on roadsides in India, along with the Poinciana (Delonix regia) tree for a striking yellow and red effect in summer, as has been done at Hughes Street, Mumbai.

Copperpod wood has a variety of uses, including furniture making and construction.

The bark is the main ingredient for producing a yellowish-brown color in the batik industry in Java, Indonesia, especially at a time when synthetic dyes were scarce.


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