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Archidendron jiringa - (Jack) I.C.Nielsen

Common Name Jengkol, Jiringa
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards Djenkolic acid, an amino acid derivative, has been found in the seed. Ingestion of the seed can cause the formation of sharp needle-like crystals of djenkolic acid in the kidney or urinary tract. In severe cases, crystals of djenkolic acid have been found in urine. Indeed, people who are suffering from djenkolism show similar symptoms to those suffering from kidney or urinary stones, a condition for which it has been frequently mistaken[ 306 ].
Habitats Forests of humid and mountainous areas, as well as along river banks[ 306 ]. A sub-canopy tree in primary and secondary rain forest and in evergreen forest[ 303 , 451 , 653 ].
Range E. Asia - Bangladesh. Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Archidendron jiringa Jengkol, Jiringa

Archidendron jiringa Jengkol, Jiringa
Ahmad Fuad Morad flickr


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Jengkol or Archidendron jiringa is a tropical shrub or tree of up to 21 m tall and 60 cm of trunk diameter. It has a spreading crown, compound bipinnate leaves, cream to white clustered flowers, and a dark brown pod fruit. Seeds are believed to relieve diabetes symptoms. Burnt old leaves can be used against itching while burnt young leaves can be used as wound powder for cuts. Seeds are edible - either raw or cooked. However, seeds can contain djenkolic acid which is an amino acid that is toxic and causes djenkolism. Young leaves are cooked and the very young shoots and flowers are eaten as vegetables. Fruits are also edible. Further, Jengkol is a great source of purple dye for silk, black dye, and reddish dye. The pods are used as a shampoo. The bark, leaves, and seeds have insecticidal properties. The wood is soft and used for cabinet work and for fuel.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Archidendron jiringa is an evergreen Tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Moths, insects.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Albizia jiringa (Jack) Kurz Feuilleea jiringa (Jack) O.Kuntze Inga jiringa Jack ex DC. Inga kaeringa

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Fruit  Leaves  Seed  Seedpod  Shoots
Edible Uses:

Edible portion: Pods - flavouring, Shoots, Seeds, Spice, Leaves. Seed - raw or cooked[ 301 ]. The seed has a powerful odour that many people find objectionable[ 63 ]. Young seeds are often eaten raw[ 303 ]. Generally the young seeds are believed to have a better flavour than older ones, though some people prefer to eat germinating mature seeds[ 306 ]. The seedpod is 20 - 25cm long and 3 - 4cm wide, twisted in a wide spiral[ 418 ]. Mature seeds contain djenkolic acid and need careful preparation to neutralize it. Traditionally, they are boiled in three changes of water[ 451 ]. Sometimes the seeds are boiled in a mixture of water, wood ash, bamboo leaves and pieces of steel or nails, discarding the cook water a number of times[ 306 ]. The resulting beans are said to be highly nutritious[ 306 ]. Other ways in which the seeds are prepared are:- 1). Boiled thoroughly till the offensive smell has disappeared, then consumed with salt and grated coconut[ 303 ]. 2). Steeped for a couple of hours in salt water, before being fried in oil. This also removes most of the bad smell[ 303 ]. 3). Made into a local delicacy, called emping. After cooking, the cotyledons are flattened by hammering them one by one into the shape of small cakes which are sun-dried, and fried in coconut oil and sprinkled with salt before consumption[ 301 , 303 ]. 4). Buried for 14 days until they germinate, then dug up and washed clean, whilst at the same time the sprouts are cut off and thrown away[ 303 ]. The latter way of preparation is said to minimize the danger of intoxication by jengkolic acid, crystals of which can cause kidney failure. It is recommended to drink much water when eating the seeds[ 303 ]. A starch is also extracted from the seed[ 301 ]. Young leaves - cooked[ 46 , 301 ]. The very young wine-red shoots are consumed raw as a vegetable[ 303 ]. Flowers[ 301 ]. Eaten as a vegetable[ 46 ]. Fruit[ 301 ].

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.
Diuretic  Hypoglycaemic  Skin

The seed is said to be good for relieving the symptoms of diabetes[ 63 , 306 ]. The old leaves, burnt to ashes, are used against itching[ 303 , 418 ]. The ashes of young leaves are used as wound powder for cuts (e.g. Circumcision)[ 303 ]. They are also applied traditionally as a diuretic, but are poisonous when eaten in large amounts[ 303 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Dye  Fuel  Furniture  Hair  Insecticide  Soap making  Wood

Other uses rating: Low (2/5). Other Uses The pods have been used as a source of purple dye for silk[ 303 , 451 ]. The bark and leaves are used for dyeing matting black[ 303 , 451 ]. To obtain this colour the mat is boiled with extract from the bark and then immersed in mud[ 303 ]. A reddish dye is obtained from the seeds[ 317 ]. The pods are used as a shampoo[ 303 ]. The pulverised seeds are used, they are rich in saponins[ 317 ]. The bark, leaves and seeds have insecticidal properties[ 317 ]. The heartwood is white, the sapwood white or pinkish-white. The wood has a strong smell of garlic when fresh, it is soft, easy to saw and to work with[ 303 , 451 ]. It is considered to be only suitable for cabinet work, interior joinery[ 303 , 418 ]. The wood is used for fuel[ 303 , 418 ].

Special Uses

Nitrogen Fixer

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A plant of the humid tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,600 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 20 - 30c, but can tolerate 12 - 40c[ 418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 2,000 - 3,000mm, but tolerates 1,000 - 4,000mm[ 418 ]. Grows well in full sun and in light shade[ 418 ]. Prefers a well-drained soil[ 303 ]. It is found growing on sandy soils, lateritic soils and reddish sandy clay on flat land and low undulating hills[ 303 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.5, tolerating 4.5 - 7[ 418 ]. Although most species in the family Fabaceae have a symbiotic relationship with bacteria on their roots that can fix atmospheric nitrogen, there is a report that this species does not have this relationship.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - The trees are grown from seed planted in the location where they are to grow. A spacing of 10-15 m is suitable.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Jengkol or Archidendron jiringa. Other common names are Blackbead, Dog Fruit, Djengkol Tree, Luk Nieng Tree, and Ngapi Nut. Other Names: Jing, Nieng, Niang, Kanieng, Chanieng, Yawng, Ngapi nut, Dhinyindi, Jering, Cha niang, Jaring, Tutung.

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Found In

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

Found In: Asia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Burma, Indochina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pacific, Philippines, SE Asia, Thailand.

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.

None Known

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


(Jack) I.C.Nielsen

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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