Roktokombol or Circassian Tree, Adenanthera pavonina

Roktokombol or Circassian Tree (Adenanthera pavonina, family: Mimosaceae) is a medium or large-sized deciduous tree with profuse branches, attaining a height of 20 m. Bark is grey or brownish. the fast-growing tree is found almost evreywhere in Bangladesh. The original home of the plant is South and Southeast Asia. It is easily recognizable due to its beauty of leaves and the exceptional characteristics of fruits and seeds.

Other names: Ronjon, Kuachondon, Kunchondon, Rokton (though there is a separate tree called Raktan in Bangla).

Leaves are compound, bipinnate, pinnae 4-6 pairs, 7-17 cm long, leaflets 12-20 pairs per pinnae, oblong, rhomboid.

Flowers are white or yellowish, fragrant, whrolled at the tip of capitulum, inflorescence 8-18 cm long. The flowers are white-colored but after some days these turn to yellow or orange. Flowers usually bloom in summer. Sometimes it is seen to bloom twice a year. 

Fruit is a pod, long, flat, 15-24 cm. Each pod contains 10 to 12 seeds. Seed is brilliant red, shiny, hard. When ripe, the pods take on spiral shape and then the seeds burst. At this time enthusiastic people are seen collecting the shiny red seeds from under the trees. These are edible. 

The plant is propagated by seeds and cuttings. Timber is strong, durable and suitable for making furniture. Crushed roots are effective in insect poisoning. Leaves are used in rheumatism. The roots are used as laxatives. Seeds are used in pneumonia. It is said that, if you soak the seeds in coconut oil, the oil will stays in good condition for a long time. The tree is usually planted under afforestation projects in Bangladesh.

The binominal names Adenanthera and Pavonina have come from the deciduous nature of the plant and the peacock tail-like bipinnate leaves respectively. By the by, seeing its blood-red seeds, many people mistakenly call it Raktachandan (Pterocarpus santalinus). Red sandalwood is a completely different tree.

Synonyms: Adenanthera gersenii, Adenanthera polita, Corallaria parvifolia

 

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