Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Tamarind Ateso: Epeduru Ateso K: Lopeduru Luganda:Mukoge Lugbara: Iti Lusoga: Mukoge Lugwe: Muhuwa Lunyuli:Muhungwa Luo: Chwaa, chwoo Madi: Iti Runyoro: Mukoge Runyoro, dialect Bugungu: Munondo Rutoro:Nondwa.

+ Tree Species

Tamarindus indica

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

A well -known tree indigenous to tropical Africa. A very adaptable species, drought hardy, preferring semi-arid areas and wooded grasslands. It grows in most soils but does best in well-drained deep alluvial soil; often riverine in very dry areas. Occurs in North Eastern and Northern Regions and in Luwero and Moyo Districts. In Kampala, Tamarind can be found within Makerere university, Makerere II zone C, and along Baskerville avenue and Mabua road among other places.

+ Description

A large tree to 30 m, with an extensive dense crown. The short bole can be 1 m in diameter. Evergreen or deciduous in dry areas.

BARK: rough, grey-brown, flaking.

LEAVES: compound, on hairy stalks to 15 cm, 10-18 pairs of leaflets, dull green to 3 cm, oblong, round at the tip and base, veins raised.

FLOWERS: small, in few-flowered heads, buds red, petals gold with red veins.

FRUIT: pale brown, sausage-like, hairy pods, cracking when mature to show sticky brown pulp around 1-10 dark brown angular seeds.

+ Uses

Edible: green and tender seed pods are used as a seasoning and also to make juices and paste, immature pods can be eaten fresh mixed with spices, pickled like green mango, or added whole to soups, stews and sauces, mature pods contain a sticky paste which can be eaten raw, used to make drinks, jellies, syrups etc., and mixed with salt is a favourite flavouring in the curries of India, the pulp mixed with water makes a pleasant lemonade-like drink, roasted seeds can be used as a coffee substitute, young leaves can be added to salads, seedlings can be used as a vegetable, flowers can be eaten raw in salads or cooked. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Tamarindus+indica

Medicine: bark, leaves, flowers, flower buds, fruit, and seeds. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Tamarindus+indica

Agroforestry: can be used as a wind break, leaves and fruit are fodder to animals, can be used as a mulch, nitrogen fixation, shade.

The pulp of the fruit mixed with sea-salt is used to polish silver, copper and brass.

The seed contains pectin that can be used for sizing textiles.

Seeds produce a strong wood cement when ground, boiled, and mixed with gum.

An amber colored seed oil is suitable for making paints and varnishes and for burning in lamps.

Leaves and bark are rich in tannin and it can be used in ink or for fixing dyes.

The leaves yield a red dye which is used to give a yellow tint to clothe previously dyed with indigo.

The wood is used for general carpentry, sugar mills, wheels, hubs, wooden utensils, agricultural tools, mortars, boat planks, toys, panels and furniture.

Provides good firewood and produces excellent charcoal.

Can be planted as an ornamental.

Provides poles.

+ Propagation

Seeds, wildings, cuttings, grafting, air layering.

+ Management

Slow growing but long lived; pollarding, coppicing.

+ Remarks

The dark brown heartwood is hard and heavy, well grained and easy to polish. The pulp is rich in vitamin C. It is recommended for homestead planting and along river banks.

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