search plant database and seed store
Plant Informational Database


Pongamia pinnata

a.k.a. Karanga

A fast growing nitrogen fixing tree that produces pleasantly fragrant hanging clusters of pink, purple or white flowers in spring leading to fruit in summer. Can grow up to 40 ft high. Seed pods are poisonous.

Seed Availability

Seeds are not available for the Pongam. Please visit our seed store to view current selections. Seeds were last available in November 2013.


Medium sized tree growing up to 40 ft with a large spreading canopy up to 40 ft. wide. Flowers in spring with fruit in summer. Fruit is brown in color and seed pods are poisonous.



Growing Environment

Grows in full sun. Can tolerate all types of soil including high salinity. Is also drought tolerant. Fairly hardy, but can not tolerate temperatures below freezing. Resistant to pests. Optimal conditions include full sun to part shade in well drained soil.


By seeds or root suckers. Seeds are viable for a year if stored properly and should germinate within 1-5 weeks of planting.


Often used for landscaping purposes due to the large canopy and showy flowers. The bark is used to make twine or rope. In india the flowers provide pollen for honeybees. The seed oil is also an important asset of this tree being used for fuel, soap making, lubricant, and medical remedies including being prescribed for rheumatism arthritis, whooping cough, skin ailments.

Native Range

Thought to have originated from India and is naturalized in various humid and subtropical regions of Asia. Including Pakistan, India, and throughout South-East Asia. Also naturalized in Fiji, Australia, Japan, and Malaysia. Introduced to other humid environments around the world including Egypt, Florida, and Hawaii. Generally found along coasts or river banks.

Related Species

Acacia caven
Acacia farnesiana
Sweet Acacia
Acacia koa
Acacia podalyriifolia
Pearl Acacia
Acacia verticillata
Prickly Moses
Bauhinia forficata
Brazilian Orchid Tree
Bauhinia variegata
Orchid Tree
Caesalpinia echinata
Caesalpinia gilliesii
Desert Bird of Paradise
Cassia closiana
Golden Cassia
Cassia excelsa
Crown of Gold Tree
Cassia fistula
Golden Shower Tree
Cassia grandis
Coral Shower Tree
Cassia x nealiae (Cassia fistula x javanica)
Rainbow Shower Tree
Ceratonia siliqua
Delonix regia
Royal Poinciana
Erythrina crista-galli
Cockspur Coral Tree
Indigofera australis
Inga cinnamomea
Inga Acu
Inga edulis
Ice Cream Bean
Inga feuillei
Inga laurina
White Inga
Inga marginata
Inga sessilis
Monkey Inga
Inga vulpina
Pink Flowered Inga
Inocarpus fagifer
Polynesian Chestnut
Hyacinth Bean
Lablab purpurea
Azure Blue Sweet Pea
Lathyrus sativus
Leucaena leucocephala
Koa Haole
Mimosa pudica
Sensitive Plant
Parkia javanica
Scarlet Runner Bean
Phaseolus coccineus
Pithecellobium dulce
Manila Tamarind
Pithecellobium flexicaule
Texas Ebony
Pongamia pinnata
Samanea saman
Monkey Pod
Senna alata
Candle Bush
Senna multiglandulosa
Buttercup Bush
Senna surattensis
Singapore Shower
Strongylodon macrobotrys
Jade Vine
Tamarindus indica
Vicia faba
Fava Bean