Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Kadam, Kadamba, Cadamba, Common bur-flower, Jabon, Sukhothai, Kalempayan, Bangkal
Neolamarckia cadamba

Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Neolamarckia
Species: cadamba

Synonym:Anthocephalus indicus
Synonym:Anthocephalus chinensis
Synonym:Nauclea cadamba
Synonym:Sarcocephalus cadamba

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium
By air layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By nalin1
Thumbnail #1 of Neolamarckia cadamba by nalin1

By nalin1
Thumbnail #2 of Neolamarckia cadamba by nalin1


1 positive
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive nalin1 On Oct 11, 2006, nalin1 from New Delhi
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

The Kadam tree is a beautiful fast growing large sized ornamental and shade giving pyramidical tree that bears striking pom-pom like apricot-gold coloured flowers with a delightful fragrance. The flowers attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. It is another revered and sacred tree of India, it being the favourite tree of Lord Krishna. In Java, Sumatra and Malaysia also, the Kadam is culturally and religiously held in high esteem.

It flowers in India during the monsoon from August onwards. My five year old kadam tree is16 feet tall and flowering now for the second year at this time (September-October). As the tree matures it is expected to flower from the monsoons (June-July) until late winter. In colder areas the tree may flower in late spring-early summer. Flowering season is anywheres from 4 to 6 months. For general garden planting it spacing should be at least 18 feet or so, but this tree can grow very tall, topping out at around 45 metres (150 feet) tall under favourable conditions. For sidewalk planting or as an avenue shade the tree can be spaced upto 40 feet apart or more.

It grows naturally in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam. It is valued for its fragrance, the flowers being used to make ‘attars’. The fragrance of the kadam has been described as: ‘a woody-floral and sweet odor with a short-lived, but strong minty-borneol topnote. The dryout is delightfully sweet-floral, reminiscent of champaca and neroli…. The tenacity of the fragrance is almost incredible.’

The wood is used for manufacturing plywood and light construction/furniture work and paper making. In India kadam is now considered a better and far more environmentally beneficial tree than the poplar for agroforestry, with a rotation cycle of about eight years. In Sumatra this tree has a rotation of four years and is an important agroforestry resource.

Traditional medicine uses infusions of leaves and bark as mouthwash, for throat infections as a gargle, while the fruits are considered aphrodisiac. The fruits are edible. Leaves, bark, seeds are medicinal, being anti-inflammatory and liver protective and all these usages are currently the subject of medical research.

Wherever the kadam grows, it improves the soil under its canopy due to its leaf and non-leaf litter. It is regard as suitable for reforestation programs

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