Dialium indum


Dialium indum
Dialium indum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Genus: Dialium
Species: D. indum
Binomial name
Dialium indum
L.
Synonyms

Dialium cochinchinense Pierre

Dialium indum, the velvet tamarind, is a tall, tropical, fruit-bearing tree, native to southern Thailand and Malaysia. It belongs to the Leguminosae family, and has small, typically grape-sized edible fruits with brown hard inedible shells. Due to its valued hard and compact wood, it is a threatened species, with its habitat being encroached upon by logging and human settlement. No reports of cultivation exist, information on propagation is limited.

Contents

Distribution

It is found to grow in dense savannah forests, shadowy canyons and gallery forests. It is found from Senegal to Sudan along the southern border of the Sahel. This is the most common and widespread Dialium in Nigeria. In Ghana, D. guineense is found along transition zones bordering high forest, in riverian forest of the savannah woodland, in coastal scrub, and in riparian vegetation of the Volta near Ada.

The velvet tamarind can also be found in West African countries such as Ghana where it is known as Yoyi, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Nigeria where it is known as Awin in Yoruba, Icheku in Igbo and Tsamiyar kurm in Hausa.

In Nigeria, the tree flowers from September to October and fruits from October to January. In Ghana, in September to November the tree is covered with small white flowers in panicles; fruit ripens in March to May but may be earlier and may persist longer.

Uses

The bark and leaves have medicinal properties and are used against several diseases.

Fruit

The flavor of the fruit is similar to tamarind, where it derives its English name. In Thai, it is called ลูกหยี ("Luk Yee") or หยี ("Yee"), and in Malaysia it goes by the name of "Keranji". The fruit is used as a candy-like snack food in Thailand, often dried, sugar-coated and spiced with chili. The dried fruit has a powdery texture, and is orange in color with a tangy flavor.

Each fruit typically has one hard, flat, round, brown seed, typically 7-8 millimeters across and 3 millimeters thick. The seed somewhat resembles a watermelon seed (Citrullus lanatus). Some have two seeds. The seeds are shiny, coated with a thin layer of starch.

In Sarawak, Malaysia there are at least two varieties for sale in the local markets. Both have the same thin black brittle shell, and appear to be naturally dry unlike most fruits. One smaller kind is about one inch = 25 mm long and have a reddish brown powder lightly packed around the single seed, with a small air space within the shell. This powder tastes sweet and sour just like the candy "sweet-tarts", and is thus closest to the tamarind. The second are bigger, about 1½ inch (38mm) long and look the same outside but are pretty different inside. There is more empty space in these and the pulp is 2–3 mm thick around the seed (sometimes 2 seeds), brown and a bit sticky, and tastes like a mixture of three parts good date, one part raisins, and one part wheat flour. There is locally also at least one more wild keranji, which is also of the powder sort, but too acid to enjoy.

The pulp is red, with a sweet-sour, astringent flavour similar to baobab, but sweeter. It is peeled and eaten raw; it can be a little constipating. The thirst-quenching, refreshing fruit pulp can also be soaked in water and drunk as a beverage. Leaves are bitter; they may be used to cook ‘domoda’, a Ghanaian dish that tastes both sweet and bitter.

Animals which like to eat the pulp in which the seeds are embedded help disperse the fruit. However, the fruit can also be transported by water since it floats; transport by sea currents may lead to long-distance dispersal.

Timber

Sapwood is white with distinct ripple marks; the heartwood is red-brown. Because of the high silicate content of the timber, axes and saws quickly get blunt. The wood is hard, durable, heavy, light brown, with a fine texture. It is used for vehicles, houses and flooring. The tree is also used as firewood and charcoal.

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dialium indum — indinis dialis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Cezalpinijinių šeimos medieninis, vaisinis augalas (Dialium indum), paplitęs atogrąžų Azijoje (Indonezijoje). atitikmenys: lot. Dialium indum vok. Samttamarinde ryšiai: susijęs terminas –… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Velvet tamarind — Taxobox | name = Velvet tamarind regnum = Plantae divisio = Mangoliophyta classis = Magnoliopsida ordo = Fagales familia = Leguminosae subfamilia = Caesalpinioideae genus = Dialium species = D. indum binomial = Dialium indum binomial authority =… …   Wikipedia

  • Samttamarinde — indinis dialis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Cezalpinijinių šeimos medieninis, vaisinis augalas (Dialium indum), paplitęs atogrąžų Azijoje (Indonezijoje). atitikmenys: lot. Dialium indum vok. Samttamarinde ryšiai: susijęs terminas –… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • indinis dialis — statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Cezalpinijinių šeimos medieninis, vaisinis augalas (Dialium indum), paplitęs atogrąžų Azijoje (Indonezijoje). atitikmenys: lot. Dialium indum vok. Samttamarinde ryšiai: susijęs terminas – dialis šaltinis… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)


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