Thursday, November 24, 2011


PETAI (Parkia speciosa) is a popular 'ULAM' in Malaysia from Fabaceae family and other Asean member country.  Report from scientists claim thar petai contain amino acid and complex carbohydrate that smelly during urinate. Petai nutrition value with 100 gram edible portion are Fat (0.8183 %), Protein (5.2%), Carbohydrate (2.06%), Energy (36,647 calorie), Vitamin C (4.18335IU), Water (25.38%). Ash (0.95%), Fiber (22.30g), Sugar (0.916 g) , Calcium (1.35 ppm), Akim (842.45 ppm),  Magnesium (7.8 ppm) and other acids. The petai young leaves consumed as ulam for those who like to eat.

Petai tree are erected type trunk with hardwood and maximum height of 15 - 30 meters. The green pinnate leaves with balance branching system responsive to sunlight and tolerance to shaded area. The petai fruit are in long shape pod with green colour and each contain green beans. Each pod contain  between 5-16 beans depend on varieties. There was no record on petai variety recorded in Malaysia but mostly are Local Variety (Domesticated variety) and Wild Variety. The flower are whitish in color and appeared in the branching tip each seasons.  Pruning are necessary at early stage to ensure the petai tree are suitable height for harvesting activity. planting material from seeds (matured petai beans) and later by budding with recommended varieties. The budded seedling able to produce shorter planting period for about 2.5 - 3 years compare to the seed seedling about 5-7 years. The site to grow petai must not shaded due to the ability of petai tree to less branching system and not able to bear flowers and fruits.

An average of pod length of petai fruit estimated at 30-40 cm but from my observation I have seen in Sarawak the pod length for 52 cm long. The beans arrangement in the pod normally are  Vertical but there are varieties with  Horizontal. The horizontal varieties I have seen in Sri Aman, Serian and Betong area in Sarawak in 1997 during my visit to the area. The average weight of each pod about 60-80gm and the fresh petai collected by climbing the petai tree to cut by sharp knife before grading activity.

Planting distance for Petai 10 meter x 15 meter and normally planted as intercroping with banana or other suitable cashcrops. Seedling preparation about 10 moths to 1 years before transplanted to suitable area. Area with fertile soils, adequate drainage systems and irrigated able to fasten the initial growth and fruit bearing capacity. Organic fertilizer and Compound fertilizer (NPK 15:15:15) apply for initial stage. Reproductive stage use NPK 12:12:17:2:TE for flowering and fruiting. 

Botanical Name Petai : Parkia speciosa Hassk. (Mansf)

Other names (SYNONYM(S) :
Parkia roxburghii G. Don (Mansf),
Parkia speciosa hort. ex Hassk.

In BURMA :  Lak num hu
ENGLISH : Petai bean, Twisted cluster bean, Stink bean.

JEPUN : ネジレフサマメノ木 Nejire fusa mame no ki.

MELAYU : Petai

INDONESIA : Peteh (Java), Sindootan

BORNEO :  Patag 

TAGALOG : Kupang. (Mansf)

THAI : กะตอ Kato, ปะตา Pa ta, ปาไต Pa tai, ปัตเต๊าะ Pat to, สะตอ Sato (Satoo, Sator, Sataw), To dan, To kkhao.

From my experience in extension activity seems that there are about 37 species under petai family but only one species are edible that is Parkia speciosa. Most petai tree in Malaysia are wild in the secondary jungle but recently domesticated for commercial planting  by orchard farmers. Problems in growing petai are the suitable varieties not available, seasonal , biennial issue, pests and diseases and the most problem is the harvesting technology. The harvesting technology has to climb the tall tree and it was a high risks of falling from the tree. The local market price for petai in middle region range between RM 3.00 - RM 4.00 for 3-4 pods. One bundle (estimated of 50 pods) sold in Tapah for RM 100.00 (wild variety). The petai been was processed fresh and marketed to middle east for those who travel abroad.  

1. Parkia africana R. Br. (GRIN) (FAO) - Parkia biglobosa (Jacq.) (GRIN) (FAO)

2. Parkia bicolor A. Chev.

3. Parkia biglandulosa Wight & Arn.

4. Parkia biglobosa (Jacq.) R. Br. ex G. Don

5. Parkia biglobosa (Roxb.) Benth. (Wang) R. Br. ex G. Don (GRIN)

6. Parkia clappertoniana Keay R. Br. ex G. Don)

7. Parkia decussata Ducke

8. Parkia discolor Benth.

9. Parkia oliveri Macbr. (FAO)  ex G. Don (GRIN) (FAO)

10. Parkia filicoidea sensu Keay & sensu Dalziel. (FAO) R. Br. ex G. Don (GRIN) (FAO)

11. Parkia filicoidea Welw. ex Oliv. (GRIN) (Wang)

12. Parkia gigantocarpa Ducke (GRIN) (ILDIS)

13. Parkia intermedia Hassk.

14. Parkia inundabilis Ducke -> Parkia nitida Miq.

15. Parkia javanica auct. (GRIN) 

16. Parkia javanica (Lam.) Merr. t)

17. Parkia javanica (Lam.) Merr.

18. Parkia macrocarpa Miq. (Ecocrop FAO) -> Parkia speciosa hort. ex Hassk. (Ecocrop FAO)

19. Parkia multijuga Benth.

20. Parkia nitida Miq. (FAO)

21. Parkia oppositifolia Benth. -> Parkia nitida Miq.

22. Parkia panurensis Benth. ex H. C. Hopkins

23. Parkia pectinata auct. -> Parkia panurensis Benth. ex H. C. Hopkins

24. Parkia pedunculata J. F. Macbr. -> Parkia biglandulosa Wight & Arn.

25. Parkia pendula (Willd.) Walp.

26. Parkia platycephala Benth.

27. Parkia roxburghii G. Don (ILDIS) (GRIN) -> Parkia timoriana (DC.) Merr. (GRIN) (ILDIS)

28. Parkia roxburghii G. Don (Mansf) -> Parkia speciosa Hassk. (Mansf)

29. Parkia speciosa Hassk. (Mansf) (Smit)

30. Parkia streptocarpa Hance (Smit) -> Parkia sumatrana Miq. subsp. streptocarpa (Hance) H. C. F. Hopkins (Smit)

31. Parkia sumatrana Miq. (Smit)

32. Parkia sumatrana Miq. subsp. streptocarpa (Hance) H. C. F. Hopkins (Smit)

33. Parkia timoriana (DC.) Merr.

34. Parkia timoriana (DC.) Merr. (Mansf) -> Parkia javanica (Lam.) Merr. (Mansf)

35. Parkia ulei (Harms) Kuhlm.

36. Parkia ulei var. surinamensis Kleinhoonte

37. Parkia velutina Benoist

M Anem
Tampin, Negeri Sembilan,
(28 Zulhijjah 1432H)


  1. Hi, i am from India and few says back i saw very short plants of Parkia roxburghii. May i know how the cultivation is done for the same and where do i buy the seeds? Please advice

  2. Please send me details at would very much appreciate your assistance on this.

  3. Hello. This is Esther from Myanmar.
    The blog is very interesting.

  4. Hello how i will finding seeds and get more advise about parkia cultivation ?

  5. Can I do farming?..
    Is it grow well in open space?..
    What is the best weather for plantation, cold or hot??...