Padauk

 
 

Padauk is native to Southeast Asia. It was introduced to Puerto Rico in the 1920s and has been planted extensively for shade and ornament. It reaches a height of 125 feet, with a trunk 5 or more feet in diameter supported by prop roots. The leaves are up to 18 inches long and have up to eleven lustrous leaflets. Flowers are about three-quarters of an inch long and appear in numerous lateral inflorescences. Flowers open in synchrony, so that the tree is covered with flowers one day, loses them the next day, and may bloom again days later. The fruit has a round wing to disperse with the wind. It flowers mostly during spring and fruits disperse mainly during winter, although some fall throughout the year. The generic name means winged fruit. The name of the first species refers to its geographic origin, that of the second means large fruit. The leaves and fruits of P. macrocarpus are larger than those of P. indicus, but variation in these characters makes it difficult to precisely identify some trees.


The photographed tree is at southwest corner of the Physics Building. There are many other trees in the campus, for example in front of the Student Union, behind the Piñero Building, east of the Angel Espada Gymnasium, and near the residence occupied by the Institute for the Development of Online Learning and Teaching (IDEAL).

Pterocarpus indicus, P. macrocarpus (Fabaceae)