Trees, to 25 m high, bark brown to brownish-black, rough with vertical fi ssures. Leaves paripinnate, alternate; rachis 8-13 cm long; leafl ets 20-34, opposite, sessile, base unequal, apex obtuse; lateral nerves 10- 15 pairs, looped at the margin. Flowers 1 cm across, yellow with reddish-pink dots, in lax terminal racemes; pedicels upto 5 mm. Calyx tube narrowly turbinate, lined by disc; lobes 4, subequal, oblong, imbricate. Petals 3, outer one, 1 × 0.3 cm, pink dotted, lateral 2, 1-1.5 × 0.7-1 cm, clawed, subequal, oblonglanceolate, lower pair scaly. Stamens 9, monadelphous, only 3 fertile. Fruit a pod, 10- 15 × 1-2 cm, oblong, fruit wall crustaceous, mesocarp pulpy, seeds 3-8 or more, obovoidorbicular, compressed, brown.
Surface of the fruit somewhat scurfy. Pods thick, oblong, indehiscent, about 3.5-20 x 2.5 cm, often constricted between the seeds. Seeds surrounded by an edible pulp which is sour to taste. Seeds 1-12. Individual seeds about 15 x 10 mm. Testa shiny brown.
Tamarindus indica is a large evergreen tree, up to 30 m tall. It grows well over a wide range of soil and climatic conditions. It is found in places with sandy to clay soils, at low to medium altitudes (up to 1000 m, sometimes to 1500 m). Seedlings takes 6-12 years to mature and yield fruit, but the tree may still be productive after 200 years (FAO 2010).
Flowering & fruiting: September – April
Wood very hard, and close grained and takes a fine polish, it is resistant and durable but susceptible to termite attack (Hiwale 2015). It has been used in making furniture, wheels, mallets, rice pounders, mortars, pestles, plows, well construction, tent pegs, canoes, side planks for boats, cart shafts and axles, and naves of wheels, toys, hubs, oil presses, sugar presses, tools and tool handles, turnery, etc.
Tamarind products, leaves, fruits, and seeds have been extensively used in traditional medicine (Hiwale 2015; Lim 2012, PROSEA 2017).
The most common and widespread use of tamarind is the edible tamarind fruit, which is available worldwide in pod form, as a paste or concentrate (Lim 2012). Tamarind pulp is used for making various chutneys, sauces, jams, jellies, marmalades, preserves, confection, cakes puddings, beverages and drinks.
Tamarindus indica is also planted for its ornamental value.
There are no major threats to this species.