Friday, November 18, 2016

The Wild Tamarind-Tamarindus indica

The Wild Tamarind- Tamarindus indicais most easily recognized by the combination of twigs and branches that are zig-zag, whitish bark, flat pods and white inflorescence.  It is an evergreen or semi-deciduous tree that reaches heights of 30-65 feet tall on average.  It is native to Hammocks, coastal Pinelands and disturbed woodland sites in South Florida.  Even though it is native to Florida it is considered to grow with a weedy habit often encroaching onto coastal pinelands.  

Image Citation: Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University,

The leaves are alternate, bi-pinnate, with blades up to 5 cm long and 13 cm broad, each leaf is made up of 8-30 pairs of leaflets per segment.  The upper leaf surface is a yellow-green color while the lower is paler.  The branches often zigzag and do not grow in a uniform upright or spreading fashion.  The flowers are tiny, tubular with 5 petals and 5 sepals each fused at the base, the head is shaped like a pin cushion and is 1.5-2 cm in diameter.  The fruit is a flat legume that often becomes twisted, it lacks visible seed compartments and becomes black with maturity.  The fruit occurs in Autumn but remains attached to the tree throughout most of the year. 

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