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A member of the pea and bean family (Leguminosae), Delonix decaryi is a white-flowered tree which grows in the threatened, dry spiny forest habitat of Madagascar.

Delonix decaryi (fengoky)

[KSP]

Kew Species Profiles

General Description

Delonix decaryi, a white-flowered tree with a cigar-shaped trunk, is found in the dry spiny forest of Madagascar, and sometimes planted as a living fence. It is a member of the pea and bean family (Leguminosae).

Species Profile
Geography and distribution

Found only in the dry spiny forest of south and south-western Madagascar, where it is confined almost entirely to the coastal forest margins.

Description

Overview: A tree measuring 3-10 m tall, with a swollen cigar-shaped trunk with flaking bark.

Leaves:  The leaves are bipinnate (having leaflets which are themselves divided into leaflets).

Flowers:  The flowers are large (7-8 cm), with white petals; the upper petal having a large yellow blotch. The stamens (male parts) and style (female part) are pink or red.

Fruits:  The pods are long and slender and measure about 35 x 3.5 cm.

Delonix decaryi is thought to be moth-pollinated. Its white petals open at night and have red, protruding stamens, and the upper petal bears a narrowly tubular, nectar-secreting claw. 

Threats and conservation

Delonix decaryi is rated as Near Threatened because its native habitat is severely threatened by slash-and-burn agriculture, charcoal production, grazing by domestic cattle and goats, and uncontrolled bush fires.

Kew's Millennium Seed Bank Partnership has collected seeds of D. decaryi and is storing them ex situ in the Kew seed bank in the UK, as well as in Madagascar.

Uses

Cuttings of the branches are often planted in villages or around tombs, to form a 'living fence'. Occasionally the trunks are used to make canoes or coffins. The resin is used as a glue and the unripe seeds are reported to be edible.

This species at Kew

Dried and spirit-preserved specimens of Delonix decaryi are held in Kew's Herbarium, where they are available to researchers by appointment. The details, including an image, of some of these specimens can be seen online in Kew's Herbarium Catalogue.

Distribution
Madagascar
Ecology
Malagasy spiny forest.
Conservation
Near Threatened (NT) according to IUCN Red List criteria.
Hazards

None known.

[ILDIS]

International Legume Database and Information Service

Conservation
Endangered
Morphology General Habit
Perennial, Not climbing, Tree
Vernacular
Fengoka, Fengoky, Fengopasy, Malamasafoy

[KSP]
Use
Construction, shade-tree, living fence.

[ILDIS]
Use
Environmental, Food and Drink, Wood

Native to:

Madagascar

English
Fengoky

Delonix decaryi (R.Vig.) Capuron appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 1991 Decary, R. [3439], Madagascar K000232327 isotype
Dupuy, D.J. [M 448], Madagascar 63588.000

First published in Adansonia, n.s., 8: 16 (1968)

Accepted by

  • Du Puy, D.J., Labat, N.-N., Rabevohitra, R., Villiers, J.-F., Bosser, J. & Moat, J. (2002). The Leguminosae of Madagascar: 1-737. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Govaerts, R. (2000). World Checklist of Seed Plants Database in ACCESS D: 1-30141.

Literature

Kew Species Profiles

  • Du Puy, D. J., Labat, J-N., Rabevohitra, R., Villiers, J-F., Bosser, J. & Moat, J. (2002). The Leguminosae of Madagascar. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Du Puy, D. J., Phillipson, P. & Rabevohitra, R. (1995). The genus Delonix (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae: Caesalpinieae) in Madagascar. Kew Bulletin 50: 445-475.

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Du Puy, D.J., Labat, N.-N., Rabevohitra, R., Villiers, J.-F., Bosser, J. & Moat, J. (2002). The Leguminosae of Madagascar: 1-737. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

International Legume Database and Information Service

  • Du Puy, D. J. et al. (2002). The Leguminosae of Madagascar. RBG Kew.

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

International Legume Database and Information Service
International Legume Database and Information Service (ILDIS) V10.39 Nov 2011
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Science Photographs
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Kew Species Profiles
Kew Species Profiles
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0