Adenanthera pavonina

Adenanthera pavonina
Adenanthera pavonina1.jpg
Adenanthera pavonina manjadi with red seeds, India
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Clade: Mimosoid clade
Genus: Adenanthera
A. pavonina
Binomial name
Adenanthera pavonina
  • Adenanthera gersenii Scheff.
  • Adenanthera polita Miq.
  • Corallaria parvifolia Rumph.

Adenanthera pavonina is a perennial and non-climbing species of leguminous tree. Its uses include food and drink, traditional medicine, and timber.[2]

Common names and synonyms

Adenanthera pavonina is commonly called Red Lucky Seed.[citation needed] Other common names for the tree include Acacia Coral, Arbre À Église, Bead Tree, Circassian Seed, Corail Végétal, Coral Wood, madhoshi, Coralitos, Curly Bean, Deleite, Delicia, Dilmawi, Graine-réglisse, Jumbi-Bead, L'Église, Peronías, Peonía, Peonía Extranjera, Piriquiti, Red Bead Tree, and Réglisse.[2] Barbados pride, Peacock flower fence, Sandalwood tree, Saga, and Manchadi are additional common names. Synonyms for the tree include Adenanthera gersenii Scheff., Adenanthera polita Miq., and Corallaria parvifolia Rumph.[3] In Kerala where Adenanthera pavonina trees are abundant, the seeds are called Manjadi (മഞ്ചാടി).[4] In Tamil Nadu the seeds are called Aanai Kundumani (ஆனை குண்டுமணி). In Maldives the tree is called Madhoshi Gas (މަދޮށިގަސް) and the seeds are called Madhoshi (މަދޮށި).In Tulu the tree is called Manjotti. In Sri Lanka, the tree is called Madatiya in Sinhala.


Heritage Tree, Saga (Adenanthera pavonina) inside Singapore Botanical Gardens

The tree is common within the tropics of the old world. It has also been introduced in the following countries of the America

Brazil, especially in Caatinga vegetation; Costa Rica,Maldives, Honduras, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Tobago, Venezuela, and the United States, especially in southern Florida.


This tree is useful for nitrogen fixation, and it is often cultivated for forage, as an ornamental garden plant or urban tree, and as a medicinal plant. For example, the young leaves can be cooked and eaten. The raw seeds are toxic, but may be eaten when cooked.[5]

Adenanthera pavonina seeds have long been a symbol of love in China, and its name in Chinese is xiang si dou (Chinese: 相思豆), or "mutual love bean". The beauty of the seeds has led to them being used as beads for jewellery. The botanist Edred Corner stated that in India, the seeds have been used as units of weight for fine measures, of gold for instance, throughout recorded history because the seeds are known to be almost identical weights to each other.[6] Indeed, the Malay name for the tree, saga,[7] has been traced to the Arabic for 'goldsmith'. The small, yellowish flower grows in dense drooping rat-tail flower heads, almost like catkins. The curved hanging pods, with a bulge opposite each seed, split open into two twisted halves to reveal the hard, scarlet seeds. This tree is used for making soap,[8] and a red dye can be obtained from the wood. The wood, which is extremely hard, is also used in boat-building, making furniture and for firewood.

The tree is fast-growing, with an attractive, spreading canopy that makes it suitable as a shade tree, and for ornamental purposes in large gardens or parks. However, it is also known for producing much litter in the form of leaves, twigs and especially seed pods which crack open while still on the branch, so releasing their seeds, before themselves falling to the ground.

In traditional medicine, a decoction of the young leaves and bark of Adenanthera pavonina is used to treat diarrhea.[9] Also, the ground seeds are used to treat inflammation.[10] Preliminary scientific studies appear to support these traditional uses. In vitro studies show that Adenanthera pavonina leaf extract has antibacterial activity against the intestinal pathogen Campylobacter jejuni.[11] Also, high doses of seed extract have an anti-inflammatory effect in studies in rats and mice.[12]

Chemical constituents

Adenanthera pavonina is a source of aliphatic natural products (O-acetylethanolamine and 1-octacosanol), carbohydrate (galactitol), simple aromatic natural products (2,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid), flavonoids (ampelopsin, butein, dihydrorobinetin, and robinetin), terpenoids (echinocystic acid and oleanolic acid), steroids (daucosterol, β-sitosterol, and stigmasterol), amino acids and peptides (2-amino-4-ethylidenepentanedioic acid and γ-methyleneglutamine), and alkaloids (O-acetylethanolamine and 1H-imidazole).[2]


  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Bisby F (1994). Phytochemical Dictionary of the Leguminosae, Volume 1. Chapman and Hall/CRC. pp. 53–54. ISBN 0-412-39770-6.
  3. ^ "Adenanthera pavonina". International Legume Database & Information Service. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Red Bead Tree". Flowers of India. Archived from the original on 2014-11-10. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  5. ^ J. H. Maiden (1889). The useful native plants of Australia : Including Tasmania. Turner and Henderson, Sydney.
  6. ^ Corner EJH (1988). Wayside Trees of Malaya, Volume 1. Malaysian Nature Society. ISBN 967-99906-0-5.
  7. ^ Simon Gardner, Pindar Sidisunthorn and Lai Ee May, 2011. Heritage Trees of Penang. Penang: Areca Books. ISBN 978-967-5719-06-6
  8. ^ "Species used for Soap". The Green Farmacy Garden. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Adenanthera pavonina". International Center for Research in Agroforestry. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  10. ^ Smith AC (1985). Flora Vitiensis Nova: A New Flora of Fiji, Volume 5. National Tropical Botanical Garden. pp. 56–57.
  11. ^ Dholvitayakhun A; et al. (2012). "Antibacterial activity of three medicinal Thai plants against Campylobacter jejuni and other foodborne pathogens". Natural Product Research. 26 (4): 356–363. doi:10.1080/14786419.2010.545777. PMID 21878033. S2CID 24104416.
  12. ^ Olajide OA; et al. (2004). "Anti-inflammatory studies on Adenanthera pavonina seed extract". Inflammopharmacology. 12 (2): 196–202. doi:10.1163/1568560041352310. PMID 15265320. S2CID 13108237.

External links

  • Media related to Adenanthera pavonina at Wikimedia Commons
  • Adenanthera pavonina
  • USDA Plants Profile: Adenanthera pavonina
  • Adenanthera pavonina L. Medicinal Plant Images Database (School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University) (in Chinese) (in English)
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