It is a deciduous tree growing to 15–25 m (rarely up to 50 m) tall, with a trunk diameter of up to 1 m belonging to Family Leguminosae and sub-family Caesalpiniaceaea. The leaves are bipinnate, 30–60 cm long, with 16-20 pinnae, each pinna with 20-40 oval leaflets 8–25 mm long and 4–10 mm broad. The flowers are yellow, 2.5–4 cm diameter, produced in large compound raceme up to 20 cm long.
Peltophorum pterocarpum is native to tropical southeast Asia and northern Australasia, in: Australia (including islands off the Northern Territory coast), Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam (where it is called Lim xẹt).
The tree is widely grown in tropical regions as an ornamental tree, particularly in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Florida and Hawaii in the United States. Used as decorating flower in Telangana State's Batukamma festival.The trees have been planted alternately in India as a common scheme for avenue trees in India alternately with Delonix regia (Poinciana) to give a striking yellow and red effect in summer, as has been done on Hughes road in Mumbai.
The wood has a wide variety of uses, including cabinet-making and the foliage is used as a fodder crop. The brownish colour called sogan typical of batik cloth from inland Java is produced from P. pterocarpum, which is known there as soga.