Padauk tree is the state tree of Andaman and Nicobar islands. My wish to see this tree and photograph them was fulfilled when we went to Wandoor Beach. The tree is not on the beach but inside the village. An official told the exact location to our driver who obliged to drive us to photograph the tree.
Tropical rain forests cover major parts of the islands in Andaman. During Tsunami, many trees were uprooted and fell to the ground.
The botanical name of Padauk is Pterocarpus dalbergioides and belongs to Fabaceae family. It is a native of Myanmar, Philippines and the Andamans. There are 7 species of this tree.
Padauk is a deciduous tropical tree and grows very tall around 120 feet in height and 7 feet in width. The good look of the tree is due to the buttressed trunk. After 65 feet of straight trunk the tree starts branching out and forms a crown. The trunk is smooth and has yellow-tinted bark. The leaves are green and compound. The leaves are fit for human consumption.
Flowers are golden yellow and fragrant and bloom at the top of the branches. The first blooms of Padauk tree are offered to Lord Buddha. Young women in Myanmar wear crowns made from Padauk flowers and splash water on the crowd. The Padauk tree symbolizes faith and love in Myanmar.
The fruit is prickly, round, inedible, and has a flat. The botanical name Pterocarpus means winged fruit.
The timber is highly prized as it is strong, durable, and beautifully grained orange-red wood.
It is used to make furniture, ceilings, pillars, containers, and panel railroad passenger cars.
As the wood ages and is exposed to sunlight, it turns deep maroon.