Pongam Oil Tree, Indian Beech
Latin name: Pongamia glabra, Pongamia pinnata
Sanskrit/Indian name: Karanja
Millettia pinnata is a species of tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, native in tropical and temperate Asia including parts of India, China, Japan, Malesia, Australia and Pacific islands. It is often known by the synonym Pongamia pinnata as it was moved to the genus Millettia only recently.
Millettia pinnata is a legume tree that grows to about 15–25 metres (50–80 ft) in height with a large canopy which spreads equally wide. It may be deciduous for short periods. It has a straight or crooked trunk, 50–80 centimetres (20–30 in) in diameter, with grey-brown bark which is smooth or vertically fissured. Branches are glabrous with pale stipulate scars. The imparipinnate leaves of the tree alternate and are short-stalked, rounded or cuneate at the base, ovate or oblong along the length, obtuse-acuminate at the apex, and not toothed on the edges. They are a soft, shiny burgundy when young and mature to a glossy, deep green as the season progresses with prominent veins underneath.