Monkeypod - Manila tamarind Seeds (Pithecellobium dulce)
Price for Package of 5 seeds.
Depending on the region of its occurrence, Pithecellobium dulce is known by different names. In its native Mexico and Japan, the tree is known as huamuche, guamuche – huamúchil - guamúchil - cuamúchil - deriving from its Nahuatl name cuauhmochitl. In the wider region, it is also called "pinzán"', or 'guamá americano (Puerto Rico).
It is called "seema chintakaya" (సీమచింతకాయ) in Telugu. Monkeypod is an English name but is also used for several other plants, including Albizia saman. Other names include blackbead, sweet Inga, ផ្លែអំពិលទឹក (Plaeh umpel tek) (Khmer), Makham thet i.e. Foreign Tamarind (Thai: มะขามเทศ), ʻopiuma (Hawaiian), kamunsil (Hiligaynon), damortis or kamantiris (Ilokano), kamachile (Tagalog), கொர்கலிக்காய்/ கோணக்காய்/ கோனபுளியங்கா/ கொடுக்காப்புளி / கொடிக்காய் kodukkappuli or kodikkai (Tamil), ದೊರಹುಣಸೆ/ಸೀಮೆಹುಣಸೆ/ಇಲಾಚಿಕಾಯಿ/ಇಲಾಚ್-ಹುಂಚಿಕಾಯಿ dora hunase or seeme hunase or ilaichi kai or ilach-hunchi kai (Kannada), વિલાયતીઆંબલી i.e. Foreign Tamarind - "બખાઇઆમ્બલી" i.e. "Bakhai Ambli" or Goras ambli (Gujarati), जलेबी i.e. Jalebi like or गंगाइमली i.e. Ganges Tamarind or विलायतीइमली i.e. Foreign Tamarind or "'Singri"' i.e. "सिंगड़ी" (Hindi), জিলাপি i.e. Jilapi meaning Jalebi (Bengali), seeme hunase (Kannada), चिंचबुलाई or विलायतीचिंच i.e. Foreign Tamarind" or "फिरंगीचिंच (Marathi) and "Achhi gidamiri" (Sindhi). In odisha, it is called Seema Kaiyan(Odia).
In India, it goes by the name "Madras thorn", although it is not native to Madras. The name "Manila tamarind" is also misleading, since it is neither closely related to tamarind nor native to Manila.
In Kuwait, it has the same name as in India but in Arabic "Showkat Madras". Showkat meaning "thorn" and that would mean Madras Thorn. It appears to have been introduced in Kuwait in the 60's or 70's and maybe introduced by Indians. One can still see the remains of the tree or living trees in the public parks established during the 60's up until the 1980s in Kuwait City. The tree is rarely sold in commercial nurseries but the old gardeners seem to know it.
Pithecellobium dulce is a species of flowering plant in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is native to the Pacific Coast and adjacent highlands of Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. It is an Introduced species and extensively naturalized in the Caribbean, Florida, Guam, India, Bangladesh,Thailand and the Philippines. It is considered an invasive species in Hawaii.
Pithecellobium dulce 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 cm (0.79 to 1.57 in) 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 seed pods contain a sweet and sour pulp that which in Mexico is eaten raw as an accompaniment to various meat dishes and used as a base for drinks with sugar and water ('agua de guamúchil'). The seeds are also edible and refined to extract oil, which amounts to 10% of their weight. They also contain 28% protein.
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 prevent miscarriage. The ground seed is used to clean ulcers.