I discovered a vendor called Lookmai Decor at Asiatique Night Market on the Chao Phraya River selling Pong Pong tree (Cerbera odollam) seeds on a recent visit when my parents were over from England.
I’d seen these large tennis ball sized seeds before as decorations but never knew what grew from them, so I decided to purchase two to take home with me.
After a week in Bangkok, Kanchanaburi and Erewan we finally made it back to Koh Chang and I dropped both seeds on top of some soil in pots, placed in a sunny spot and watered daily.
Within days a fresh shoot appeared and in a couple of weeks the tree stood at 20-30cm tall. Apparently they grow to 5-10 meters tall.
Pong Pong are a tropical tree native to Malaysia and Singapore but are also a common sight in Thai gardens. They are grown for their fragrant white scented flowers, glossy green leaves and to provide shade.
Pong Pong Tree AKA as the Suicide Tree
One interesting fact to note about the Pong Pong tropical tree is it also known as the Suicide Tree due to the single, mango-sized round fruits being highly toxic. The kernel inside the fibrous husk if ingested can cause fatal cardiac arrest due to the cyanide poison it contains.
Cerberin, a type of cardiac glycoside, has the ability to block the calcium-ion channels within the heart muscle.
Due to this beautiful trees poisonous fruit, the Pong Pong tree in Singapore has been fazed out of road side planting.
I’ll re-pot my trees in the coming months before deciding where I’ll anchor them to mother earth to grow in all their glory.
If you want to grow your own Pong Pong tree, seeds can now be purchased directly from our store. Alternatively next time you’re out and about keep an eye out for this interesting oversized round fruits or seeds. Happy planting.
Click Here to Buy Your Seeds
… and eight months later the pong pong trees are still in containers but are looking healthy and stand around 3ft high. When the rainy season starts we will plant them out into our land.
The Fast Growing Pong Pong Tree
We are now about a year into the life of our first two pong pong trees we grew from seed.
Both of our ornamental trees are planted out in our garden strategically placed to shade the house as they grow and mature.
As of this week they have started to bud and flower as can be seen from the photos below.
IMPORTANT NOTICE – PLEASE READ
We have always endeavoured to promote a positive and healthy lifestyle in everything we do. We are shocked and saddened to hear a customer tried to commit suicide with the seeds she purchased from our store.
Unfortunately, many household plants, flowers and seeds are poisonous when ingested. We have never advocated anything but growing plants for their aesthetics, to encourage pollinators to a garden or to produce an abundance of fresh organic food to enjoy.
However, due to recent circumstances brought to our attention, we are suspending the sale of all Pong Pong seeds until further notice.
Our thoughts are with her and her family.
Do You Feel Suicidal?
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call: 1-800-273-8255 Website: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
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We grow cocoa trees on our farm in Trat province and produce artisan chocolate from the bean to bar.
We have a fine selection of delicious and nutritious organic Thai craft chocolates, husk tea and cocoa nibs.
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Growing a Pong Pong Tree from Seed
I was looking for these seeds everywhere to grow my own tree, but I can’t find them anywhere? Are you currently selling the seeds/plants or do you know where I can purchase them?
Hi Shelly, I may be able to help you with these seeds. I will email you a private message. Perry.
Perry I can get virtually any seed as well.
But hence the issues with toxicity of the plant I’m having a rough time as well.
If you would be generous enough to help me obtain these seeds as well I would appreciate it.
Many household plants and flowers can be toxic if ingested.
Pong Pong seeds fall into this category and they should NOT be consumed.
We promote healthy lifestyles, permaculture and travel etc. via our blog.
hi guys, you have a great website, very original, turly like it … i tried to contact you since i wanted to order a few things, like these sedds and some tea, but the contact page doesnt work .. can u help me?
Hi Tam, Thanks for bringing the broken contact form to our attention.
I will get this fixed asap and notify you when we are working again.
Thanks again; )
Our contact form is working again now; )
Hey, I would like to buy some seeds for my garden but I cant’t find a seller. Do you know where i can buy them online in India?
Hi Ally, We sell pong pong seeds from this site but I don’t know of a vendor online in India.
Have you tried a Google search?
thank you sooo much for fixing it so promptly .. it works again 🙂
thanks again for a great website
Please send me the detail to buy some seeds for my garden.
Here’s a link to the pong pong store page: https://thinglishlifestyle.com/product/pong-pong-tree-seeds/
How many seeds come with purchase
Pong Pong seeds are sold as a single unit.
What part of the seed is toxic? Can i be affected just by touching the seed?
The inner kurnel contain cerberin which is toxic. Much the same way as an apple seed contains Cyanide.
Normal handling of the seeds is safe but do not ingest. These seeds are for growing beautiful pong pong trees from only.
I tried to purchase but paypal keeps saying something isnt working when i press the pay now button
Test the button our side and it is fine. Let us know if you still have any issues with it.
Can this plant grow in Japan? I remember my homestay mom used the shell for decoration. I would like to use them in my house.
I don’t see why you can’t grow a pong pong tree in Japan as long as you are not on a snow covered mountain.
Many people do not plant the seeds and instead use them as decorations. They are a great conversation piece.
I live in Arkansas and our temperatures range from 35 degrees in winter to 110 degrees in summer…Do you think I could grow these trees here? I LOVE LOVE the blooms…Looking for something different. Thanx
I’m no expert regarding such temperature swings but pong pong are quite hardy trees that grow fast here in the tropics. I think if you protect them when they are young from the extreme cold they will be OK. Be interested to hear of your progress.
Maybe if we start them now while warm/hot they will be OK. Need a barrier between my property and another. Would also like try try growing blueberries if you have in stock.
They would make a very attractive barrier between two properties.
If you would like some blueberry seeds, please make your order and we will have them sent to you within 24 hours.
I haven’t heard back from you. is everything ok?
How can I help you Trea?
We just returned back home from Thailand where i found a Pong Pong seed on the beach. It’s quite decorative and I brought it home with me.
I wondered what it was and searched it on the internet. And now I know! 🙂
Do you think I could grow it succesfully in a pot in our house? I live in Belgium, so planting it in our garden would definitely not be a good idea.
I don’t see why you can’t grow a pong pong in a pot in your home. You may have to heavily prune it at some point though! 55
Hi, perry! I am grace.
I have a question about pong pong tree.
I bought this seeds yesterday in Thailand market.
I wanted to send to my mom for gift.
But I was shock, when I searched about growing this seeds. Because of toxic.
can I grow this seed just Home deco?
I am really worry about Harmful to My mom.
The pong pong seed, like many seeds are toxic if ingested.
Handling a seed is fine as only the kernal in the centre is toxic.
Many people use the seeds as decorations in Thailand and of course to grow a beautiful tree.
It’s very hot here at the moment. Enjoy your time in Thailand; ) Chok dee!; )
hi perry !!! i d like to ask you if there’ s any possibility of buying these seeds from your store …because i read that they are not purchasable anymore … i wouldnt harm anyone o myself ever …thank you for your time perry !! i ‘ll wait for you answer !!!
No sorry. We are not in that market anymore.
Hey perry how to grow them. Is it possible to grow in gujarat India.
You will have no problems growing them in India, Aman.
Hi Perry ,
How long we can store the pong pong seeds before planting it . Also how to store safely , Is it required to be refrigerated ? Thanks in advance
I’m not sure how long you could store a pong pong seed for but I’d recommend just treat them as any other seed. Keep in a dry, cool place and keep away from sunlight.
Would love a few of those Beautiful pong pong tree’s tell me where to buy.
Hi. My grandma had the same tree in her backyard. Growing up we had fun under the shade of the tree and had made lots of memories. I wanted to grow it too in my backyard but I am having trouble finding a seed due to its toxicity. Can you help me please.
Unfortunately we decided to stop selling the seeds after finding out someone bought one for the wrong reasons. Shame because as you say, they are beautiful shade giving trees.