Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)

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Another one of our absolute favorite fruits!  Tamarind is adapted to a wide range of growing conditions and grows exceedingly well and effortlessly in Florida, especially in the south. Tamarind is a leguminous tree native to tropical Africa.  Tamarind trees can obtain impressive heights, reaching anywhere from 30-100 feet tall in the right habitat.  However, Tamarind trees are also highly prized Bonsai specimen and can be pruned and maintained at impressively small sizes as well.

Tamarind fruit is actually a long seedpod that can grow to be 12 inches in length.  The pulp within the seedpod is tart and sweet.  It is popularly used to make chutneys (yum!), candies, salsas, sauces, flavor cocktails, etc. Tamarinds are available at markets in both sweet and tart varieties but are fairly expensive supermarket items.  Grow your own Tamarind trees and enjoy your own bounty of deliciously tart Tamarinds each season.

Plant Type: 
Tropical/Subtropical Evergreen Fruit Tree

Harvest Season: 
Spring, Summer

Tamarinds may be left on the tree for as long as 6 months after maturity so that the moisture content will be reduced to 20% or lower. In Florida, Central America, and the West Indies, the flowers appear in summer, the green fruits are found in December and January and ripening takes place from April through June. A mature tree may annually produce 330 to 500 of fruits.

Mature Size: 
30+ ft. Can take excessive pruning in the summer. Prized Bonsai specimen.

Soil & Moisture: 
Rich well-draining soil. Once established, tamarind trees can withstand periods of drought. Tamarind trees tolerate a wide diversity of soil types, from deep alluvial soil to rocky land and porous, oolitic limestone. It withstands salt spray and can be planted fairly close to the seashore.

Light Requirements: 
Full Sun, Part Shade

Self-Fertile: 
Yes

Growth Rate: 
Slow, Medium

Zone Hardiness: 
Outdoors 9-11 with frost protection; Patio/Greenhouse 4+

Very young trees should be protected from cold but older trees are surprisingly hardy.

Propagation: 
Medium Size: grown from seed and capable to produce fruit within 3-4 years.

XL Size: grafted or air-layered, capabale of blooming and producing fruit now.

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