Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Wild Tamarind, False Tamarind
Lysiloma latisiliqua

Family: Mimosaceae
Genus: Lysiloma (ly-sih-LOH-muh) (Info)
Species: latisiliqua (lat-ih-SIL-ih-kwa) (Info)

Synonym:Acacia bahamensis
Synonym:Acacia latisiliqua
Synonym:Leucaena latisiliqua
Synonym:Lysiloma bahamensis
Synonym:Mimosa latisiliqua

2 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

over 40 ft. (12 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)
8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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2 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive NativePlantFan9 On Feb 2, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is a medium to large tree that is native to the coastal and tropical hammocks, keys, and sunny sites of far southern Florida (Miami-Dade, Monroe and Collier counties, including Everglades National Park), the West Indies and the Caribbean. The white to greenish flowers attract pollinating insects.

The green-brown to greenish-brownish small to medium (usually small) seedpods are often found.

The leaves of this species are small and are characteristic of the Tamarinds and members of the Lead Tree family.

Due to habitat destruction, this useful and wildlife-benefiting native is sadly being threatened in the wild, although it is not yet listed as endangered or threatened by the state of Florida.

It is useful in a wildlife garden or native plant garden.

It grows in zones 10a, 10b and 11 in full sun or sun to partial or light shade.

Neutral GumboLimbo On Jul 1, 2004, GumboLimbo from North Palm Beach, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Often called "Mother-in-Law Tree" in South Florida because the large, dry seed pods present during winter never stop talking (rattling). It is actually a pretty soothing sound during high winds - almost sounds like a driving rain.

Positive TamiMcNally On Jun 7, 2004, TamiMcNally from Lake Placid, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Fast growth rate

Low tolerance for salt water
Low tolerance for salt wind


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tecate, California
Big Pine Key, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Homestead, Florida (3 reports)
Key Largo, Florida
Key West, Florida (2 reports)
Marathon, Florida
Miami, Florida
North Palm Beach, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Summerland Key, Florida

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