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Neolamarckia cadamba - (Roxb.) Bosser

Common Name Amboina, Kadam
Family Rubiaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats An early-succession species, it grows best on deep, moist, alluvial sites, often in secondary forests along riverbanks and in the transitional zone between swampy, permanently flooded and periodically flooded areas[303 ].
Range E. Asia - Indian subcontinent, China, Malaysia through Indo-China to Australia.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Neolamarckia cadamba Amboina, Kadam

I, J.M.Garg wikimedia.org
Neolamarckia cadamba Amboina, Kadam
Balaram Mahalder wikimedia.org


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Other common names include burflower-tree, laran, Leichhardt pine, kadam, cadamba, common burflower, jabon, sukhothai, kalempayan, Philippine wonder tree and bangkal. Amboina or Neolamarckia cadamba is a fast-growing tropical and evergreen tree native to South and Southeast Asia that grows up to 45 m tall and 160 cm in trunk diameter. The bole is straight and cylindrical. Flowering commence four or five years after planting, with orange and fragrant flowers that form into globose clusters. Such characteristic makes Ambiona as one of the most planted ornamental trees. The fruit of Amboina is small, fleshy, and yellow-orange. It is reportedly edible as well as the inflorescences. The fast growth rate of this tree makes it suitable for reforestation projects and as windbreaks. It is also used as green manure. The root bark yields yellow dye while the flowers yield essential oil. The wood is easy to work with but non-durable. It is used for light construction, pulp and paper, boxes, crates, and furniture components. The dried bark is used in the treatment of fever and as a tonic.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Neolamarckia cadamba is an evergreen Tree growing to 45 m (147ft) by 30 m (98ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Anthocephalus cadamba (Roxb.) Miq. Anthocephalus chinensis (Lam.) A.Rich. ex Walp. Anthocephalus mac

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Fruit
Edible Uses:

The fruit and inflorescences are reportedly edible[303 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Febrifuge  Mouthwash  Parasiticide  Tonic

The dried bark is used to relieve fever and as a tonic[303 ]. An extract of the leaves serves as a mouth gargle[303 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Containers  Cosmetic  Dye  Essential  Furniture  Mulch  Paper  Parasiticide  Pioneer  Shelterbelt  Soil conditioner  Wood

Agroforestry Uses: Amboina is a typical pioneer species in its natural range and is suitable for reforestation programmes[303 , 325 ]. It is fast growing and suitable for reforestation in watersheds and eroded areas and for windbreaks in agroforestry systems. It is also excellent as a shade tree for dipterocarp line planting[325 ] Trees shed large amounts of leaf and non-leaf litter, which on decomposition improve some physical and chemical properties of the soil under their canopy. This reflects in increases in the level of soil organic carbon, cation exchange capacity, available plant nutrients and exchangeable bases[303 ]. Other Uses: The fresh leaves are sometimes used as serviettes or plates[303 ]. A yellow dye can be obtained from the root bark[303 ]. The flowers are the source of an essential oil[303 ]. They are an important raw material in the production of 'attar', which are Indian perfumes with sandalwood (Santalum spp.) base in which one of the essences is absorbed through hydro-distillation[303 ]. Extracts of the flowers exhibit nematicidal effects on Meloidogyne incognita[303 ]. The wood is white with a light yellow tinge becoming creamy yellow on exposure; the sapwood is not clearly differentiated from the heartwood[303 ]. The wood has a density of 290-560 kg/cu m at 15% moisture content, a fine to medium texture; straight grain; low lustre and has no characteristic odour or taste. It is easy to work with hand and machine tools, cuts cleanly, gives a very good surface and is easy to nail. However, the wood is rated as non-durable, graveyard tests in Indonesia show an average life in contact with the ground of less than 1.5 years. The timber air dries rapidly with little or no degrade. The wood is very easy to preserve using either open tank or pressure-vacuum systems. The timber is used for plywood, light construction, pulp and paper, boxes and crates, dug-out canoes, and furniture components. The tree yields a pulp of satisfactory brightness and performance as a handsheet. The wood can be easily impregnated with synthetic resins to increase its density and compressive strength[303 ].

Special Uses

Coppice  Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A plant of the moister tropics, it grows well at an altitude range of 300 - 800 metres[303 ]. It prefers a mean annual temperature of around 23°c and is sensitive to frost[303 ]. It grows best with a mean annual rainfall of around 1,600mm or more, but can tolerate dry areas with as little as 200mm of rain[303 , 325 ]. Prefers well drained entisols[303 ]. It does not grow well on leached and poorly aerated soils[303 ]. Older trees require good light conditions, the saplings, however, require protection some shade from the hot sun[303 ]. Trees are sensitive to frost, drought and excessive moisture[303 ]. Trees can tolerate periodic flooding[325 ]. Young trees usually grow fast for the first 6 - 8 years, commencing flowering around the age of 4 years[303 ]. When grown for timber, they are usually felled at around the age of 10 - 15 years[303 ]. The tree coppices well[303 ]. The fragrant orange flowers attract insect pollinators[303 ]. Flowering Time: Late Summer/Early Fall Mid Fall Late Fall/Early Winter. Bloom Color: Gold (Yellow-Orange). Spacing: 20-30 ft. (6-9 m) 30-40 ft. (9-12 m) over 40 ft. (12 m).

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown in a nursery - direct sowing is not very successful because of the small-sized seeds and the their sensitivity to drought, excessive moisture and direct sun[303 ]. The epigeous germination begins in about 10 - 14 days in the rainy season[303 ]. When the seedlings are 8 - 12 weeks old, they are transplanted to nursery beds or plastic bags. It is recommended to use a medium that is enriched with organic matter[325 ]. After 6 - 7 months, when the seedlings are about 30cm tall, they are ready for transplanting into the field. They can be planted bare-rooted with little loss in survival rate[325 ]. The young seedlings are highly susceptible to weeds and should be weeded regularly. 2-month seedlings can be transplanted in nursery beds or into polythene bags, where they can be retained before planting at the start of the monsoon rains. To ensure successful establishment, seedlings should be planted out with their balls of earth[303 ]. Successful extraction of seed from ripe fruits involves air drying, crushing, and sieving through a No. 35 US Standard sieve to separate seed from chaff[303 ]. The fruits are first soaked in the open until rotted, then ground by hand into a thick slurry, air dried, and passed through a series of sieves terminating with a No. 35. This procedure improves seed purity up to 98%, and germination success[303 ]. Air layering.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Amboina, Kadam, Kadamba, Cadamba, Common bur-flower, Jabon, Sukhothai, Kalempayan, Bangkal, Burr-flower Tree, Gao trung hoa, Jabon, Kaatoan-bangkal, Kadambe, Kra-thum, Leichhardt pine, Mau, Roghu, Thkow, arattam, attutekka, burflower-tree, cadamba, common bur-flower-tree, holiptiya, indulam, kadam, kadamb, kadamba, kadamba (stem bark), kadamba mara, kadamba nipo, kadambal, kadambamu, kadambu needam, kadappai, kadavala, kadimi chettu, katampu, kodum, laran, leichhardt-pine, neirumavinamara, priyka, roghu, vellai kadambam, vellai kadambu, vellaikhadambu, v?tta pu?pa.

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

China ; Bhutan; India; Malaysia; Myanmar; Sri Lanka; Thailand; Viet Nam

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


(Roxb.) Bosser

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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