Tamarindus indica L.

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Tamarindus indica

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Photo: Mike Bingham

Tamarindus indica

Drawing: Suzanne Carter

Tamarindus indica

Drawing: Suzanne Carter

Tamarindus indica

Drawing: Suzanne Carter

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Common names: Musiika (Ila) Musiika (Tonga: Zambia) Musika (Tonga: Zambia)
Status: Native
Medium to large evergreen tree. Leaves pinnate with up to 18 pairs of leaflets. Flowers in short attractive racemes; sepals creamy-white; petals conspicuously veined with red. Pods curved, sausage-like, constricted around the seeds, not splitting.
Type location:
Notes: It has been suggested that its origins may be either in Madagascar or in North Africa and Asia, from where it has since been spread throughout the tropics. It was already known in Egypt more than 3000 years ago.
Derivation of specific name: indica: of India although it has also been suggested that it may be native to Madagascar.
Habitat: Gallery forest, termite mounds.
Altitude range: 20 - 1000 m
Flowering time:Nov - Mar
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in Tropical Africa and Madagascar.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): C,E,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Mc,E,Lk,S
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Achaea catella (Larval food plant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Tuesday 25 June 2013

Brummitt, R.K., Chikuni, A.C., Lock, J.M. & Polhill, R.M. (2007). Leguminosae Subfamily Caesalpinioideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(2) Pages 60 - 62. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 270. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 213.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 243.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 44.

Other sources of information about Tamarindus indica:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Tamarindus indica
Flora of Malawi: Tamarindus indica
Flora of Mozambique: Tamarindus indica
Flora of Zimbabwe: Tamarindus indica
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Tamarindus indica

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Tamarindus indica
African Plant Database: Tamarindus indica
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Tamarindus indica
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Tamarindus indica
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Tamarindus indica
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Tamarindus indica
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Tamarindus indica
JSTOR Plant Science: Tamarindus indica
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Tamarindus indica
Plants of the World Online: Tamarindus indica
Tropicos: Tamarindus indica
Wikipedia: Tamarindus indica

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Tamarindus indica.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=126750, retrieved 2 March 2024

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