Spanish Tamarind
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Spanish Tamarind
ntroduced Photo: Medha Rao
Common name: Spanish Tamarind
Botanical name: Vangueria madagascariensis    Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee family)
Synonyms: Vangueria edulis, Vangueria acutiloba

Spanish Tamarind is a rofusely branched shrub or small tree, 2-15 m tall, with smooth grey bark and a whitish or cream slash. Leaves are opposite, elliptic-ovate or rotundate, dark green above, paler beneath, glabrous or, rarely, slightly pubescent, with acuminate or, rarely, obtuse or acute apex and prominent venation below, 7-20 x 2-11 cm. Leaf stalks 5-10 mm long. Flowers are greenish-yellow, yellow or cream, fulvous-pubescent, borne in dense axillary cymes, sweet scented. Fruits are edible, spherical, very smooth and shiny, 3-4.5 x 2.5-4.2 cm, greenish when immature, changing to yellowish-brown when ripe, contain 4-5 woody seeds up to 1.6 cm long. The generic name Vangueria is derived from a Malagasy word. Spanish Tamarind is native to Madagascar.

Identification credit: Navendu Pagé
Photographed in Bangalore University, Bangalore.
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