Characteristics of Tamarind-plum Tree (Dialium indum) in the Wild

Dialium indum
Tamarind-plum or Keranji (Dialium indum) is a fruiting tree that belongs to the Fabaceae tribe. This tree is native to the tropics in Southeast Asia but has spread to many areas of the world.

Names in Indonesian languages ​​include Asam keranji (Kalimantan), Kranji (Java), Asam Cina, Kuranji, Ki pranji (Sunda), Parangi, Ceuradieh (Aceh).

Tamarind-plums produce fruit that can be used as snacks such as sweets in Thailand, sweets, and flavored with chili. The dried fruit has a powdery texture and is orange in color with a sharp taste.

Tamarind-plum fresh fruit tastes similar to sour. However, when compared to sour, Tamarind-plum taste is sweeter, drier, like powder and the shell is thicker. The fruit is also very popular in Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal.

In Sarawak, Malaysia there are at least two varieties sold in the local market. Both have a brittle black shell and appear naturally dry, unlike most fruits. The former are small, about 2.5 cm long and have a reddish-brown powder that is lightly wrapped around a single seed, with small air spaces within the shell. This powder tastes sweet and sour like candy. The second type is larger, about 3.8 cm long, and looks the same on the outside but is very different on the inside. There is more free space in it and the pulp is 2-3 mm thick around the seeds (sometimes containing 2 seeds), it is brown and slightly sticky, and has a unique taste, like a three-part mixture of raisins and wheat flour.

 

Characteristics of Tamarind-plum Leaf

Dialium indum Leaf
Source: hkcww.org

Leaves including petioles 10-15 cm long, alternate, ovate to elliptical, leaf blade measuring 6-10 x 3-5 cm, and stiff.

 

Characteristics of Tamarind-plum Flower

Dialium indum Flower
Source: natureloveyou.sg

Flowers are white, sepals 5, ovate-oval to elliptical, and downy inside.

 

Characteristics of Tamarind-plum

Dialium indum Fruit
Source: africanplants.senckenberg.de

Fruit round to ovoid, sometimes slightly dense, 1.5-2 x 1-1.5 cm in diameter, brittle, hairy but not velvety. Seeds are square, measuring 7-12 x 5 mm, light brown to dark brown, and shiny.

 

Characteristics of Tamarind-plum Tree

Dialium indum Tree
Source: hkcww.org

Tamarind-plum trees can grow up to 40 meters high, with a trunk diameter of up to 1 meter in optimal places. The branches are rather slender, gray to dark brown, lenticels, young branches hairy.

The wood is hard and dense, making it suitable as a building material. Due to a lot of felling, Tamarind-plum has become a tree that is starting to become scarce in its original habitat, and is now starting to be widely planted as an shade tree and tree for reforestation of land.

 

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