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The flower buds are long green cylinders which can resemble oversized beans and could be mistaken for a fruit. The bud opens with the curling back of the outside layer of the flower bud, revealing yellow and red petals with yellowish long stamens.
The fruit pulp and oil-rich seeds are eaten.The root of seedling plants can be eaten as a vegetable.
A medium-sized tree up to 15 m high, Adenanthera pavonina is native to India and Malaysia. It has been planted extensively throughout the tropics as an ornamental and has become naturalized in many countries.
The tiny flowers are said to smell vaguely like orange blossoms.
The slender flattened pods become twisted as they split open at maturity to release up to 12 brilliant red, lens - shaped, extremely hard seeds. The ripened pods stay on the tree for some time. The seeds are used in necklaces and ornaments, as beads in jewellery, leis and rosaries. They were also used in ancient India for weighing gold. The seeds are curiously similar in weight. Four seeds make up about one gramme. In fact the name "saga" is traced to the Arabic term for "goldsmith".
In Malaysia and Indonesia, the trees provide shade and planted as "nurse trees" in coffee, clove and rubber plantations.
Although the raw seeds are toxic, when cooked they are edible: are roasted, shelled and then eaten with rice in Java, Indonesia. In Melanesia and Polynesia people call it the "food tree". The seeds are said to taste like soy bean. The young leaves can be cooked and eaten, but usually only during famine.
The hard reddish wood of the red sandalwood tree is used for cabinet making. A red dye, obtained from the wood, is used by Brahmins to mark religious symbols on their foreheads. A red powder made from the wood is used as an antiseptic paste. In Ancient Indian medicine, the ground seeds are used to treat boils and inflammations. A decoction of the leaves is used to treat gout and rheumatism. The bark was used to wash hair.
Adonidia comes from Adonis, the handsome sun god of the ancient Greeks. This is neat looking, compact palm that resembles a dwarf version of the royal palm (Roystonea regia) which it matches in beauty. Christmas palm grows to an overall height of only about 16 ft. By late fall fruit are beginning to ripen and by late December are bright and brilliant red - like ornaments on a Christmas palm! It is a popular landscaping item in the capital of Philippines, which inspires another popular name, the Manila palm.
Christmas palm is moderately salt tolerant. Prefers full sun but will take some shade.
Small stature makes it perfect for use in small scale plantings. It is sometimes closely planted in groups of two or three.
Good specimen container plant. The formal symmetry of Christmas palm is nicely showcased when it is grown in a container. Indoors or out this is a glamourous container plant that can maintain its looks despite hardship and neglect.
This plant is a medium sized tree that grows up to 40ft.This plant is known to posses some medicinal properties. All parts of this tree including, the roots, leaves, trunk, fruits, and seeds, are used for curing one human ailment, or another. The fruits are usually eaten by people.They taste like marmalade, and smell like roses. They are also used in the preparation of many medicines in villages. These protein-rich fruits are also used in making some very good drinks. They can also make a wonderful jam. The plant easily withstands long periods of drought, which are needed for better fruit yields. It grows in most soil and climate types, and requires little care when established.