General Information. Lysiloma latisiliquum is a moderately fast growing, deciduous tree with an open, spreading crown that can reach a height of 4 – 20 metres[. Last year at this same time, on the northern Yucatan coast at Río Lagartos, I reported on flowering False Tamarind, Lysiloma latisiliquum {see next section}. Common Names: Wild Tamarind. Family: Fabaceae. Habit: Lysiloma latisiliquum grows as a medium to large tree up to 20 m in height with a trunk to 1 m in.

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Excerpts from Jim Conrad’s Naturalist Newsletter.

Lysiloma latisiliquum Images

Now it’s also flowering here in the central Yucatan, but I’m noticing small differences between our trees and those on the coast. The ones here seem to be the more commonly encountered type.

Our pinkish ones are shown below:. False Tamarinds are very nearly acacias, and in the past were considered to be acacias. A gland is shown below:.

Down here even the most informed field workers are still struggling to figure out what’s what in the natural world, so documentation like this really has some value for them. Normally the trees’ branches mingle with branches of other trees and the tree’s form is more or less treelike, laisiliquum here you can see that when given a chance in our arid climate, instead of competing with neighbors for resources, it likes to sprawl into open areas.


At the top of this page you see a close-up of its flower bunches, which are pure white when they first develop but fade to yellowish after a day or so. A flowering head atop a slender stem, or stipe, suggestive of acacia flower heads, is shown below:.

In fact, False Tamarind’s flowers and leaves are so similar ltaisiliquum those of acacias that I don’t know why the two genera are separated, and some experts have wondered that, too.

I understand that the main differences are technical features of the legume-type fruits. Another difference might be shown below:.

Wild Tamarind (Lysiloma latisiliquum) ·

That’s a compound leaf’s petiole shooting off toward the picture’s top, right corner, with a single raised gland on it, rather like petioles of some of the ant-attracting acacia species. But notice the single, yellowish-green, fingernail-like stipule at the petiole’s base, arranged horizontally at the picture’s middle bottom.

That’s a bit unusual and not something I recall among the acacias. Anyway, nowadays the False Tamarind’s fresh, green leaves and fragrant, powder-puff clusters of flowers contribute to the landscape’s springy feeling.


Florida Native Plant Society

Though its feathery leaves look like those of numerous other acacia-like tree species found here, at this time of year Tsalam is easy lyiloma recognize because of its large, flat, legumes with enlarged edges along both sides and, most conspicuously, the odd manner by which the legumes’ dark covering flakes off, making the pods look latisiliquum and abused, as shown below:.

The Biblioteca Digital de la Medicina Oysiloma Mexicana says that traditionally Tsalam’s leaves have been roasted and pound into a powder to apply to sores and wounds.

The tree also is used for asthma and coughs in general, but it’s not said how. It is one of the dyes that will vary in intensity depending on the age of the tree or on the seasonal climatic conditions. The bark can be stored for a few days and still be effective. It is a natural mordant.

Louise’s very interesting page with more info is at http: