Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1
Notul. Syst. (Paris) 14(1): 74 (1950).
Papilionaceae (Leguminosae - Papilionoideae, Fabaceae)
Origin and geographic distribution
Pongamiopsis pervilleana is endemic to Madagascar, where it is widespread throughout the western part of the island.
The wood is used for house construction and planks. The roots are used to make fish poison.
Deciduous shrub or small tree up to 14 m tall; bole up to 30 cm in diameter; bark smooth, shallowly longitudinally fissured, pale grey-brown; young twigs silky hairy, but soon glabrescent. Leaves alternate, imparipinnately compound with (9–)11–15(–19) leaflets; stipules and stipels usually absent; leaflets opposite or alternate, elliptical to narrowly oblong-elliptical, 1–4 cm × 0.5–1.5 cm, rounded or obtuse at base, rounded or notched at apex, thinly leathery, pubescent when young but often glabrescent. Inflorescence an axillary false raceme up to 7 cm long, 3–10-flowered with flowers solitary or in pairs. Flowers bisexual, papilionaceous, sweet-scented; pedicel with a pair of caducous bracteoles; calyx cup-shaped, 2.5–3.5 mm long, 5-toothed with short teeth, deep red, hairy; corolla pale purplish, standard circular, 8–10 mm in diameter, with whitish basal spot, wings and keel about as long as standard; stamens 10, filaments fused in lower half; ovary superior, 1-celled, style often recurved or hooked. Fruit a broadly ellipsoid pod 1.5–4 cm long, inflated, with a short beak, leathery, thickened along the upper margin, glabrescent, wrinkled, eventually splitting into 2 valves, 1-seeded. Seed ellipsoid, 1–1.5 cm long, flattened, brown to black.
Pongamiopsis pervilleana produces flowers on new shoots with leaves still immature.
Pongamiopsis comprises 3 species and is endemic to Madagascar. It is related to Millettia, which differs in its flat, elongated pods and seeds with distinct aril.
The wood of Pongamiopsis amygdalina (Baill.) R.Vig. is used for construction and as firewood. This species occurs very locally in northern Madagascar and is listed as endangered in the IUCN Red list of threatened species. It differs from Pongamiopsis pervilleana in its larger leaflets, flowers and pods.
Pongamiopsis pervilleana occurs in dry scrubland or woodland, up to 1000 m altitude, often on sandy soils over limestone.
Genetic resources and breeding
Pongamiopsis pervilleana is widespread and locally common in Madagascar and not yet endangered, although its habitat is declining rapidly in many regions.
Pongamiopsis pervilleana will remain of local importance for its wood as long as stands of some extent remain.
• du Puy, D.J., Labat, J.N., Rabevohitra, R., Villiers, J.-F., Bosser, J. & Moat, J., 2002. The Leguminosae of Madagascar. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 750 pp.
• du Puy, D. & Labat, H., 1998. Pongamiopsis amygdalina. In: IUCN. 2006 Red list of threatened species. [Internet] http://www.iucnredlist.org. Accessed September 2006.
• du Puy, D. & Labat, H., 1998. Pongamiopsis pervilleana. In: IUCN. 2006 Red list of threatened species. [Internet] http://www.iucnredlist.org. Accessed September 2006.
• Lewis, G., Schrire, B., MacKinder, B. & Lock, M., 2005. Legumes of the world. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 577 pp.
Correct citation of this article:
Lemmens, R.H.M.J., 2007. Pongamiopsis pervilleana (Baill.) R.Vig. In: Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.