Flower Blossoms


Image taken by DineshLeaves and Pods

Native to tropical and subtropical areas, the Pongam tree, or Pongamia pinnata, was first introduced to Hawaii in the 1860's.  It didn't reach the continental U.S. until 50 years later when the U.S Department of Agriculture was given seeds from Sri Lanka.  The first Pongam tree grown in the U.S. was in Florida in the yard of Dr. David Fairchild.  Over the next 16 years, the USDA received seeds from Mauritius, India, and Egypt.  Although Pongamia pinnata thrives in south Florida, the tree is not very popular because it's excessive shedding of leaves is considered dirty.  It has also been shunned because of its many surface roots.  Today, there are still some Pongam trees growing in Florida and a few other states, but this will never compare to the vast amounts of trees growing in other areas around the world.



Through centuries of natural challenges, the Pongam tree has adapted to continue living.  One adaptation this plant has made is the development of a lateral root network to stay rooted in areas with extreme soil erosion.  These trees have also adapted themselves to need very little water to survive.  This makes the drought resistant.  Also, their thick trunk and branches help them withstand extreme wind gusts.  Finally, P. pinnata is very tolerant of high salinity which makes it able to grow near a variety of bodies of water. 

Move on to learn about the
Pongamia Botanical Description & Life Cycle.

Go to the Pongamia pinnata Homepage.
Pongamia pinnata
Photo taken by Ria Tan