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Lost Crops of Africa: Volume II: Vegetables
Parkia filicoidea. is a related African species from riparian forests. Other species occur both in tropical Asia and Latin America. These are generally handsome, quick-growing trees, large in size, with clear, smooth trunks and fine feathery leaves. They too are useful and highly regarded. Most are pollinated by bats as well as bees. Examples include:
Parkia speciosa. Indigenous to Southeast Asia, where it can be found in cultivated plantations. There the odorous/stinking seeds are eaten raw. roasted and fried after sun drying and storage, or else cooked in sauces and curries, more as a condiment. In Indonesia and Malaysia, the pods are an important foodstuff. When ground into a meal, they make a nutritious ingredient of livestock rations. These trees may be found in fairly moist areas in southern Asia. Many of the species are noted for the pods or beans and nuts they bear, which are of good quality and make excellent and nutritious foodstuffs. The leaves also provide useful forage for livestock.
Parkia biglandulosa. Malaysia. Seeds roasted, also a substitute for coffee; seedlings also consumed.
Parkia intermedia. Indonesia. Seeds eaten raw or roasted.
Parkia javanica. Indonesia, Philippines. Pods used for flavoring.
Parkia roxburghii. Thrives in moist low areas up to about 600 meters above sea level.
These further members of the genus Parkia are worthy of much more extensive planting, with progressive breeding and selections of improved strains. Several institutions in various parts of Asia and the Americas have begun showing an interest in developing them for forestry and farms.