Family: Mimosaceae (touch-me-not family)
Genus: Pithecellobium
Botanical name: Pithecellobium dulce
Sanskrit: Kodukkappuli
Hindi: Jangal Jalebi
English: Madras Thorn, Sweet tamarind, Manilla Tamarind, Deccany babool
Malayalam: Kodukkappuli, Korukkappulimaram
Madras Thorn is a tree that reaches a height of about 10 to 15 m (33 to 49 ft). Its trunk is spiny and its leaves are bipinnate. Each pinna has a single pair of ovate-oblong leaflets that are about 2 to 4 m (6.6 to 13.1 ft) long. The flowers are greenish-white, fragrant, sessile and reach about 12 cm (4.7 in) in length, though appear shorter due to coiling. The flowers produce a pod, which turns pink when ripe and opens to expose an edible pulp. The pulp contains black shiny seeds that are circular and flat.
The seed is dispersed via birds that feed on the sweet pulp. The tree is drought resistant and can survive in dry lands from sea level to an elevation of 1,500 m (4,900 ft), making it suitable for cultivation as a street tree.
The bark and pulp are astringent and hemostatic. The indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica use the pulp and bark against gum ailments,toothache and hemorrhages in general. A bark extract is also used against dysentery, chronic diarrhea and tuberculosis. An extract of the leaves is used for gall ailments and to to prevent miscarriage. The ground seed is used to clean ulcers.
Pithecellobium ulce
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