Spanish tamarind is also called Tamarind of the Indies, but this does not originate from Spain or India and it is not related to the tamarind (Tamarindus indica). Instead it originates from Madagascar and is common in many African countries, where it is grown for its large orange edible fruits. It belongs to the same family (Rubiaceae) as coffee.
Tamarind of the Indies
Tamarin des Indes
Tamarinier des Indes
Basic information and facts
Common in Africa, including Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zaire.
Evergreen or deciduous:
The sweet smelling flowers are greenish-yellow, yellow or cream colored.
The leaves are opposite, about 8 to 24 cm long and 4 to 12 cm broad.
The globular fruits are smooth and shiny. When immature they are greenish, when ripe they are yellowish-brown or orange. The fruits have a diameter of 3 to 4.5 cm and contain 4 or 5 seeds. They have a sweet-sour taste.
Climate and weather:
Tropical and subtropical climates
Spanish tamarind grows as a branched shrub or small tree and is about 8 meters tall (varies from 2 to 15 meters).
4 to 5 meter.
Can be grown from seed or by cutting.
The sweet-sour fruits are edible when fully ripe.
Spanish tamarind is also known for its medicinal properties (antimicrobial and anthelmintic). Roots and bark are used to prepare decoctions.