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Campus Trees

Tamarindus indica


Family:  Caesalpiniaceae

Common Names: Puli, Tamarind tree, Indian date

Flowering Period: September – April


  • Tamarind is a very common large tree with a short, massive trunk, ferny pinnate leaves, small yellow flowers and fat reddish brown pods.
  • The tree can get 90 ft tall but is usually less than 50 ft.
  • It has a short, stocky trunk, drooping branches and a domed umbrella shaped crown about as wide as the tree’s height.
  • The leaves are about 10 in long with 10-18 pairs of 1 in oblong leaflets.
  • Tamarind drops its leaves in pronounced dry seasons; in climates without a dry season, it stays evergreen.
  • The flowers are about 1 in across, pale yellow with purple or red veins. They have five unequal lobes and borne in small drooping clusters. The velvety cinnamon brown pods are 2-6 in long, sausage shaped and constricted between the seeds.


  • The flowers, leaves, seedlings and pulp of the riped fruit are edible.
  • The fruit pulp is used in Indian and Southeast Asian cooking to achieve a sour taste.
  • The fruits are thought to improve digestion, relieve gas and soothe sore throats.
  • The bark and leaves are used for tanning. Pods can be used as animal feed. The sour juice of unripe fruits are used as a pickling agent.