Woman’s Tongue is a tropical tree with large, compound leaves, whitish flowers with long stamens and large, flat pods. It is widely grown in the tropics as an ornamental and shade tree. It is a deciduous, unarmed tree to 98.5 ft (30 m) tall, with a rounded, spreading crown and with grey fissured corky bark. Usually multi-stemmed, it can be grown as a single straight stem. It is probably native to Asia, but has now been introduced to Florida, the Pacific Islands, Australia, Japan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Indian Ocean islands. Leaves are alternate, twice compound, with 2–5 pairs of pinnae, each pinna with 3–10 pairs of leaflets; leaflets elliptic-oblong, 1–2 in (2–4 cm) long. Usually asymmetrical at base, dull green above, paler green below. Flowers are mimosa-like, in showy, rounded clusters near stem tips, 2–2.5 in (5–6 cm) across, cream or yellowish-white; each flower with numerous long stamens. The fruit is a flat, linear pod, to 1 ft (30 cm) long, with many seeds; dried pods persistent after leaf-fall, often heard rattling in the wind. It has a fast growth rate. In India plantation-grown trees yield a high quality hardwood that is traded in Europe as 'Indian walnut'. Plants are used to provide shade for coffee and cocoa plantations as well as to provide a valuable timber and fuel. It is a popular amenity tree throughout the dry tropics because of its shady spreading habit.
- Scarify the seeds by nicking or sanding the seed coat.
- Soak the seed in water for several hours.
- Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
- Put the seeds on the soil.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
- Water the seeds.
- Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade.
- When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.