Tamarindus indica

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Tamarindus indica


Tree up to 24 m high; young branchlets pubescent, glabrescent. Leaves spiral, 10-18(-21)-jugate, petiole and rachis 5 — 12( — 16) cm long, slightly pubescent, glabrescent. Stipules minute, free, caducous. Inflorescences terminal and lateral racemes, up to 15(-22) cm long, the rachis puberulous, glabrescent, loosely flowered; bracts and bracteoles ovate-oblong, 5 by 3 mm, caducous; pedicels up to 14 mm, puberulous, glabrescent. Sepals 4, reddish outside, yellow inside, zygomorphic, imbricate, oblong- elliptic, 8-12 by 5 mm, slightly puberulous at the base. Petals 5, yellow or cream with red veins, very zygomorphic, upper 3 well-developed, lower 2 reduced, elliptic or ob- ovate-elliptic, 10-13 by 2-6 mm. Stamens less than 10, up to 15 mm; filaments connate for about half their length into a pubescent tube; 3 fertile ones with anthers oblong, longitudinally dehiscent; staminodes 4 or 5, tooth-like, alternating with the fertile ones. Ovary stipitate, linear, c. 7 mm long, pubescent, 8-14-ovuled; style elongate, 7 mm, pubescent; stigma subcapitate. Seeds obovate- orbicular, 11-17 by 10-12 mm, compressed, glossy, dark brown, non arillate, exalbuminous.


Africa, tropics cultivated
Perhaps indigenous in Africa. Widely cultivated all over the tropics.


The acid pulpy part of the pods is used for various preserves, jams, sweets and beverages. Seeds are edible and also used as vermicide. See


Wei 1988: p. 217. – In: Fl. Reipubl. Popul. Sin.: t. 76.
Robertson & Lee 1976 – In: J. Arnold Arbor. 57: 47
Backer & Bakh.f 1964 – In: Fl. Java: 529
K. & S.S. Larsen 1980: p. 145. – In: Fl. Camb., Laos & Vietnam: pl. 25/10-12
Brenan. 1967: p. 153. – In: Fl. Trop. E. Afr.: f. 32
K. & S.S. Larsen 1984: p. 124. – In: Fl. Thailand: f. 31/10-12
Verdc. 1979: p. 108. – In: Manual New Guinea Leg., Lae Bot. Bull.: f. 25
A.C. Smith 1985 – In: Fl. Vit. Nova: 141