Thai Name – Bpra-duu (ประดู่)
Scientific Name – Pterocarpus macrocarpus
Family Name – Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Flowering Season – March-April
Native to Thailand – Yes
Typical Height – 15-30 meters
The Burma padauk goes from completely green to full of small (about 1.5 centimeters wide) yellow flowers overnight; and reverts back to all green again after only a few days in bloom. The flowers turn into distinctive disc-shaped seeds, which give the tree its scientific name. The genus Pterocarpus means “wing fruit” and the species macrocarpus means “large fruit.” The central seed pod is surrounded by a flat 5-7 centimeter diameter “wing” that starts out a soft green and dries out into brown. It’s a popular ornamental in towns, but it’s disappearing from natural forests as the red-tinged, termite-resistant wood fetches a high price for use in furniture, flooring, veneers, tool handles, and Thai traditional instruments. Burma padauk is the provincial tree of Chonburi and Phuket, and the provincial flower of Chonburi, Rayong, Roi Et, and Uttaradit.