Florida Hill Nursery Forum
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Tamarind, tamarindo Tamarindus indica L.

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Tamarindus indica L. (syns. T. occidentalis Gaertn.; T. officinalis Hook.), of the family Leguminosae. Indigenous to tropical Africa, tamarind is a sturdy, slow growing but large (up to 80 ft) leguminous tree with rough bark, twisting spreading branches and finely pinnate, evergreen foliage. Flowers are pale yellow with red veins and born in small racemes in early summer. The fruit are brown pods measuring 3-8 inches in length containing large seeds embedded in a sticky brown pulp, which is edible. The pulp may have a sweet to sour molasses-like flavor, can be extracted and used to flavor cooking sauces. It is a primary ingredient in certain brands of steak sauce. Because of the many fissures found on its rough textured bark, tamarind trees provide an excellent substrate for growing orchids. Season: April-June. Very young trees should be protected from cold but older trees are surprisingly hardy. Wilson Popenoe wrote that a large tree was killed on the west coast of Florida (about 7.5ยบ lat. N) by a freeze in 1884. However, no cold damage was noted in South Florida following the low temperatures of the winter of 1957-1958 which had severe effects on many mango, avocado, lychee and lime trees. Dr. Henry Nehrling reported that a tamarind tree in his garden at Gotha, Florida, though damaged by freezes, always sprouted out again from the roots. In northwestern India, the tree grows well but the fruits do not ripen. Dry weather is important during the period of fruit development. In South Malaya, where there are frequent rains at this time, the tamarind does not bear.

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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 30 December, 2010.