||After Andreas Caesalpini, a 16th Italian botanist and physician to Pope Clement VIII
|| Iron; referring to the hard wood
||Libidibia ferrea (Mart. ex Tul.) L. P. Queiroz
||Leopard Tree, Brazilian Ironwood, Pau Ferro
||Exotic: Cultivated Only
Caesalpinia ferrea can be identified very easily from its binnate leaves and peeling bark which gives different shades of brown (hence its common name the Leopard Tree). It is not reliable to look out for its foliage form as many that I have seen are scrawny-looking (probably because they are still young and that it is slow-growing species).
The wood of the Leopard Tree is so heavy and dense that a piece of the seasoned wood can sink in water (NParks, 2009)!
The Leopard Tree in Punggol Park.
The distinctive peeling bark showing different shades.
Leaves are bipinnately compounded.
Close-up of the leaflets, showing the venations.
ReferencesNParks. (2009) Trees of Our Garden City: A Guide to the Common Trees of Singapore. 2nd Edition. National Parks Board, Singapore. 382 pp.
Posted Date: 2013-06-02 / Modified Date: 2015-01-11