Angsana (Pokok Sena)

Angsana, also known as Pokok Sena, is a popular tree planted worldwide. It is a native of Southeast Asia but can be found in Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Hawaii. The angsana was widely planted in Singapore in 1967 when the country launched its "Garden City" campaign to beautifu its environment with greenery. From the late 1960s to the 1970s, the angsana tree became a popular choice of planting for the campaign.

From the early 19th century onwards, angsana tree was systematically planted in Malacca and Penang. It provided much needed shade within the shortest time. It can grow up to 30-40 meters in height, and to a diameter of 2 meters. The angsana bears small yellow flowers that only last for a day. The flower measures only 1.5 cm. Subsequently the fallen flowers carpet the ground around the tree.

The fruit is a semiorbicular pod that measures 2-3 cm in diameter surrounded by a 4-6 cm diameter membranaceous wing that helps it disperse in the water. The seed turns brownish when mature. The tree itself provides a lot of shade due to its many branches. The tree blooms around April and is known as Cheng Beng Hua because its blooming coincides with the Chinese Tomb Sweeping Festival.

The wood of tha angsana is ideal for furniture as it is resistant to termite and has a fragrant smell. The wood also provides a red dye.

Angsana (Pterocarpus indica)Angsana (Pterocarpus indica)
Author: Wibowo Djatmiko (cc-by-3.0)

Angsana TreeAngsana Tree
Author: Wibowo Djatmiko (cc-by-3.0)

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