Saraca indica (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Saraca indica L.

Family: Leguminosae


  • Saraca bijuga Prain,
  • Saraca harmandiana Pierre.
  • Saraca kunstleri Prain,
  • Saraca minor (Zoll. & Moritzi) Miq.

Vernacular names

  • Malayan saraca (En)
  • Indonesia: soko (Javanese)
  • Laos: 'si 'soup
  • Thailand: chum saeng nam (peninsular), sok (central), som suk (northern)
  • Vietnam: vàng anh ấn.


Indo-China, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Java; often planted for ornamental purposes.


Young leaves and flowers (sourish) are edible. Sacred ornamental tree for Buddhists and Hindus, being the tree under which Buddha was born.


  • Tree, 10-20 m tall.
  • Leaves paripinnate, rachis 10-50 cm long, pink or purple when young; leaflets in 1-7 pairs, elliptical-ovate to lanceolate, 5-30 cm × 1.5-10 cm.
  • Flowers fragrant, yellow to orange-red, in 3-15 cm long corymbs; sepals 4, ovate-oblong, 5-12 mm × 2-7 mm; petals absent; stamens 6-8.

Often along streams in forests and cultivated as ornamental. Flowering is in February, fruiting in May in continental South-East Asia.

Selected sources

7, 20, 27, 33, 84.