Butea monosperma

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Name and publication

Butea monosperma (Lam.) Taub., H. G. A. Engler and K. A. E. Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. 3(3): 366 (1894).


The flowers of bastard teak, palas, or dhak, 2-3 cm long, are sold in the potpourri trade as “kesui flowers” or “keysu flowers.” The native color is yellow and brown.

Nativity and distribution

Butea monosperma is native to the Indian Subcontinent, Indo-China, and Malesia but widely cultivated in the tropics for fiber, paper pulp, yellow or orange-red dye from the flowers, “muduga oil” from the fruit, Bengal kino gum from the bark, and as a source of food for lac insects.


Fabaceae (alt. Leguminosae), also placed in Papilionaceae