1. Tamarindus indica Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 34. 1753.
酸豆 suan dou
Trees, 10-15(-25) m tall. Trunk 30-50(-90) cm d.b.h. Bark dark ashy, irregularly longitudinally splitting. Leaflets oblong, small, 1.3-2.8 cm × 5-9 mm, glabrous, base obliquely rounded, apex rounded or emarginate. Flowers few, yellowish tinged with purplish red stripes; peduncles and pedicels yellowish green puberulent; bracteoles 2, ca. 1 cm, enclosing flower bud before anthesis. Calyx tube ca. 7 mm; lobes lanceolate-oblong, ca. 1.2 cm, reflexed after anthesis. Petals obovate, subequal to calyx lobes, margin repand, curled. Stamens 1.2-1.5 cm, pubescent near base, free parts of filaments ca. 7 mm; anthers elliptic, ca. 2.5 mm. Ovary slightly incurved, terete, ca. 8 mm, hairy. Legume brownish, straight or arcuate, terete-oblong, turgid, 5-14 cm, often irregularly constricted. Seeds 3-14, brownish, shiny. Fl. May-Aug, fr. Dec-May. 2n = 24, 26, 28*.
Cultivated. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, ?Hainan, Yunnan (Jinsha Jiang valley) [native to Africa; widely cultivated in the tropics].
The pulp of the fruit and the seed oil are edible. The fruit can be used medicinally for relieving fever and constipation and as an antiscorbutic. The hard, heavy wood is used for building houses and making farm tools and furniture. The trunk is robust, with wind-resistant strength, and is suitable for planting on seashores.