Pongam is a legume tree reaching a height of 40 feet, sometimes taller. It has a rounded wide dense crown which spreads to about equal its height. It has a straight or crooked trunk with gray-brown bark, is often multi-trunked and bears thorns; the branches droop slightly. Leaves are green, glossy, alternate and pinnate with 5 - 9 leaflets and a single larger terminal leaflet; leaflet blades 2 - 4 inches long. Briefly deciduous, it produces young leaves of a pinkish color. Pea-shaped flowers borne on short-stalks with showy fragrant hanging clusters of blooms in groups of 2 - 4, variable in color, pink-lavender-creamy-gray. Fruits are elongated dry, hard, brown pods 1 - 3 inches long, containing 1 -2 flattened, brownish poisonous seeds, used for propagation. Pongam is valuable for its seed oil which has medicinal value, is a lubricant and the plant has potential as a farmed biofuel. The tree can thrive in various types of well-drained soils; it is considered low-maintenance, but benefits from pruning and is pest and disease resistant. In landscaping, pongam is a good specimen or shade tree in the garden or patio, along highways and in parking lots. It is self-seeding and can become invasive.