Narra/ Malay Paduak / Burmese Rosewood-Pterocarpus indicus Print
Written by Bonsai King   
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 15:56

Local Name:

Narra/ Malay Paduak / Burmese Rosewood

Scientific Name:

Pterocarpus indicus




Narra is one of the best known trees in southeast Asia. Mainly used for furniture.


Narra may be propagated by seed, which germinate in 8-100 days, but the initial growth of seedlings and saplings is relatively slow. Propagation by cuttings is preferred, especially for ornamental planting. Narra is unique among big timber trees in that the capacity for rooting of stem cuttings is not lost with age. Stem cuttings can be taken from trees of any age and size. Indeed, cuttings of diameter 6 cm or larger will root better than cuttings of smaller diameter. Young leaf-bearing stems will not root at all. For roadside planting, the cuttings used are in the form of stakes 1.5-3 m long and as much as 10 cm diameter. Such stakes produce up to 10 radiating shoots at the top, making a symmetrical crown very quickly, above pedestrian height. Few species can match P. indicus in the ability to produce well-crowned instant trees within one or two years. If large stakes fail to root, it is usually because of water-logging or accidental movement of the stakes during the tender rooting period. These problems can be avoided by rooting the stakes in loamy soil in large well-drained containers, while tied securely to a simple supporting framework. The stakes root in about 3 months and can be reduced to as short as 10 cm length, but such cuttings would take longer to develop into trees.



Narra is a big tree, growing upto 33 m in height and 2 m diameter. The trunks are usually fluted and buttressed to 7 m diameter at the base. The crowns are large and bear many long branches that are at first ascending, but eventually arch over and sometimes droop at the ends. Trees with long willowy, drooping branches are particularly conspicuous and attractive in Singapore and some parts of Malaysia and Hawaii. Elsewhere the drooping habit may not develop.

The leaves are compound-pinnate, bearing 6-12 alternate leaflets. The leaflets are rather large, 7 x 3.5 to 11 x 5.5 cm and ovate to elliptic in shape, with a pronounced acuminate tip. The flowers are yellow, fragrant, and borne in large axiuary panicles. When flowering, the buds do not open in daily sequence. Instead, as buds come to full size, they are kept waiting, to be triggered into opening.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 January 2010 15:04