Indian Beech Tree / Pungam

Millettia pinnata



General Information :

  • Pungam is a moderate sized, evergreen tree with a spreading shady crown.
  • Bark smooth grey in color.
  • Leaves bright glossy green in color.
  • Flowers small, pinkish white in color.
  • Pods woody yellowish grey when ripe.
  • One or two seeds reddish brown in color.

Distribution :

  • This tree is found in all parts of India.

Habitat : Deciduous forest

Soil : Wide range of soils, even in Saline soil.

Altitude :Up to 1200 m (MSL)

Rainfall :500-2500 mm

Temperature : 27 to 38°C

Terrain : Plains/Hilly

Tree Characteristics :
  • Drought resistant and shade tolerant.

Habit : Deciduous tree

Planting Guidelines

Natural Regeneration :


  • Naturally propagated by seeds

Artificial Regeneration :

  • Propagated by nursery raised seedlings.

Seed collection and Storage :

  • Ripe pods are collected off the trees from April and June.
  • The pods are dried in sun and seeds are break open.
  • The seeds are store well due to its high oil content.
  • Seed rate 800 to 1400/Kg.
  • Germination capacity 60-90%

Seed Treatment :

  • No seed treatment is required.

Nursery Technique :

  • No seed treatment is required.
  • Seed is dibbled in the polybags any time after collection.
  • Polybags are watered regularly.
  • Germination commences after about 10 days and completed in about a month.
  • 6 month old nursery maintained seedlings are fit for planning in the main field.

Plantation technique :

  • Seedlings of about 60 cm in height are suitable for planting with ball of earth,
  • Pits size 45-60 cm3 are adopted

Care & Disease Control :

  • Young plants should be provided with sufficient soil moisture by occasional watering for at least two seasons.
  • Two (or) three weeding are required per year for the first 2-3 years of sowing / planting.
  • For the avenue trees, side branches should be pruned to get proper bole.

Irrigation :

  • Occasional watering for atleast two seasons.

Recommended Harvest :


  • 4-7 years

Yield :

  • A single tree is said to yield 9-90 kg seed per tree, indicating a yield potential of 900-9000 kg seed/ha, and seed contain oil around 25%.
  • Indian mills extract 24 -27.5% oil and village crushers, 18-22% oil.

Agro Forestory :

  • Grass grows normally beneath the tree so it has been planted for shade in pastures.
  • M. pinnata is grown as a windbreak for tea plantation.

Major uses :

  • It is a nitrogen-fixing, fodder and important tree borne oil seed of the leguminous family and also used as timber, fire wood, fodder, fibre, Manure, Food, Pest control, Poultry feed, Folk medicine.

Carbon stock :

0.542 tC /tree