Botanical Name: Adenanthera pavonina
Synonyms: Adenanthera gersenii Scheff., Adenanthera polita Miq., Corallaria parvifolia Rumph
Common Name: Barbados pride, Coral-wood, Coralwood, Peacock flower fence, Red beadtree, Red sandalwood tree, Red sandalwood, Sandalwood tree, Saga
Seed collection period: Sep.- Oct
Adenanthera pavonina is a medium-sized to large deciduous tree, 6-15 m tall and up to 45 cm diameter, depending on location; generally erect; bark dark brown to greyish; inner bark soft, pale brown; crown spreading; multiple stems common, as are slightly buttressed trunks in older trees.
This tree is useful for nitrogen fixation, and it is often cultivated for forage, as an ornamental garden plant or urban tree, and as a medicinal plant. For example, the young leaves can be cooked and eaten. The raw seeds are toxic, but may be eaten when cooked.
Adenanthera pavonina seeds have long been a symbol of love in China, and its name in Chinese is "mutual love bean". The beauty of the seeds has led to them being used as beads for jewellery. Renowned botanist Edred Corner states that in India, the seeds have been used as units of weight for fine measures, of gold for instance, throughout recorded history because the seeds are known to be almost identical weights to each other.