Polyalthia longifolia var. pendula (Mast Tree)



  • TropPlant Accession Number (TPAN): 0092
  • Botanical Name: Polyalthia longifolia var. pendula
  • Common Name: False Ashoka, Mast Tree, Cemetery Tree, Indian Fir
  • Variety: pundula
  • Family: Annonaceae
  • Native To: Southern India and Sri Lanka
Polyalthia longifolia var. pendula leaves
Photo by Matthew Gaston

Landscaping Information

    • Plant Type: Tree
    • Texture:  Dense
    • Form: Upright-Narrow with Weeping/Pendent features
    • Height (on average, in landscape use): 45'-60'
    • Height to Spread Ratio: 10:1
    • Growth Rate: Medium
    • Landscape Values: Accent, Street Tree, Background, Border, Edging, Facer, Filler, Framing, Mass, Quick Effect, Screen, Sculptural Form, Space Division, Specimen, Windbreak
    • Outstanding Quality: Foliage Color, Form/Silhouette, Foliage Characters
    Polyalthia longifolia var. pendula growing at the University of Hawaii Manoa
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    Botanical Descriptions

    • Flowers: 0.3'"-0.5" bisexual flowers, not fragrant, inconspicuous.
    • Fruits: 1", purplish, arranged in clusters.
    • Foliage Color: Young/immature: Bronzish Red to Light Green. Mature: Bright medium green to dark green.
    • Foliage Tip: Acute
    • Foliage Base: Obtuse
    • Petiole: 0.3"-0.5"
    • Stipules: N/A
    • Margins: Undulate
    • Leaf Arrangement: Distichous
    • Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
    • Leaf Type: Simple
    • Leaf Texture: Smooth, Waxy, slightly glabrous,firm when mature.
    • Leaf Special Notes: Attractive bronze to red colored young leaves. Waxy (Undulate) leaf margins add to the sex appeal of this handsome leaf.
    Polyalthia longifolia var. pendula adaxial leaf surface
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    Polyalthia longifolia var. pendula abaxial leaf surfaee
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    Polyalthia longifolia var. pendula branch. note leaf color and pendulant form
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    • Bark and Trunk: Smooth, lightly fissured, Dark Umber bark.
    Polyalthia longifolia var. pendula trunk
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    Horticultural Informatione.

      • Light Preference: Full Sun.
      • Light Tolerances: Semi-Sun
      • Soil Preferences:  Slightly Acidic, Loam, Sand, Well-Drained.
      • Tolerances: Acidic,  Moderate Winds (once established), Humidity, Regular Watering, Drought (once established)
      • Water Requirements: Low water requirements. In its native climate, it has eight dry months with the remaining months having about 100 inches of rain. 
      • Notes on Maintenance: Fruits are admired by birds and bats, which spread seed about. Generally low maintenance. This plant is toxic. Learn more about the toxicity here.
      • Propagation: Seed
      • Minimum USDA Hardiness Zone: 12a
      • Weed Risk Assessment Score (WRA): -4,. Low Risk

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