Manila tamarind is a tropical tree in the legume family that has edible pods and seeds. It is native to Mexico, Central America, and northern part of South America. It grows about 10 - 15 m in height with a spreading, rounded crown, spiny branches, and short, multiple boles. The leaves are bipinnate. The flowers are fragrant, greenish-white, and form into round dense heads. It is a tree of many uses - it is planted and grown as an ornamental and/or shade tree, for medicinal purposes, and for its fruits and seeds. The fruits and seeds are edible. The flesh surrounding the seeds can be eaten raw, cooked, or made into drinks. The seeds can also be eaten raw or used as an ingredient in curries. Edible oil can be obtained from the seeds, which can also be used in making soap. Manila tamarind has symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria and is capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen. Due to this, it can be grown for reforestation and soil conservation. The bark is a source of yellow dye, tannin, and gum. Seeds and leaves are also sources of tannin. The wood is used in light construction and for poles.
- Soak the seed in water for several hours.
- The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
- Put the seeds on the soil.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
- Water the seeds.
- Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade.
- When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.