Tamarindus Species, Indian Date, Tamarind Tree

Tamarindus indica

Family: Caesalpiniaceae (ses-al-pin-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tamarindus (tam-uh-RIN-dus) (Info)
Species: indica (IN-dih-kuh) (Info)
Synonym:Tamarindus occidentalis
Synonym:Tamarindus officinalis
Synonym:Tamarindus umbrosa
View this plant in a garden


Edible Fruits and Nuts


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage



Foliage Color:



over 40 ft. (12 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone



Bloom Color:


Pale Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Winter

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

San Pedro, California

Dunnellon, Florida

Homestead, Florida

Melbourne, Florida

Miami, Florida

Naples, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Kurtistown, Hawaii

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes

Angleton, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

Houston, Texas

San Antonio, Texas(3 reports)

Frederiksted, Virgin Islands

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 5, 2013, DannyJoe from York, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Add the sweet pod jam to a jar of water and store in fridge. Makes a nice tea.
No sugar needed for the sweet kind, unless you are into making stuff sugary.


On Aug 7, 2012, alyx_c from San Antonio, TX wrote:

I am from the US Virgin Islands and have eaten this fruit my entire life. We have the sweet type in our yard and the sours one all over the Island. They like to grow at the beach, in the sand and hot sun. In San Antonio I started one from a seed that had already been made into what we call a Tamarind ball. I started it last winter (Dec 2011) in a pot under a light. In March it was about 2 - 3" tall. I took it down to Padre Island and put it in the sand (no dirt on the Barrier Islands) at my Beach house A month later it was 12" tall and now it's about 2' with branches coming out everywhere. It only gets water when I am down there.
For food when ripe(remove veins): boil them with water and lots of sugar to make the drink (can use little cinnamon if desired). Take the hard sh... read more


On Oct 8, 2010, davecito from Carrboro, NC wrote:

I have a couple small tamarind seedlings. I expect that I will need to learn some kind of modified bonsai technique to keep them - we will see.

To germinate seed - I took seeds from dried tamarind (from the supermarket!), cleaned them, dropped them into hard-boiling water for 3 minutes. I then allowed the water to cool to room temperature, and then dried them before planting. They germinated in about 10 days.

The pods are great to cook with - in Asian dishes, the pulp is a great addition to curries, chutneys and stir-fries. It's also GREAT sweetened - the flavor is a SOUR apple-meets-lemon flavor which - after adding sugar - makes for dynamite jams and preserves and agua fresca-type drinks.

The seedlings are quite attractive, with compound l... read more


On May 30, 2010, cowhow from Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

My wife is Costa Rican and on our trip this past spring we brought seeds back with us. I am happy to report I have three seedlings growing. I am curious to know if anyone in North Texas has had success growing these. I am concerned they will no survive the winter once planted in the ground.

To update my original post from 2010 fast forward to 2016. The three tamarindo "seedlings" are now to large to overwinter indoors. They live in our greenhouse during cold months. The seedlings are over 6' tall with canopies just as wide. They have not flowered or born fruit and are still grown in a large container. I have learned the trees are not even cold tolerant, much less frost/freeze tolerant. In my experience the trees are very reactive to climate changes as they shed leave... read more


On Aug 9, 2006, patty_in_wisc from Milwaukee, WI wrote:

I found these seeds under it's tree in Mexico on vacation back in April, 2004. I found them in drawer this spring & planted 3 seeds --2 grew. One is now about 7inches high & I could not remember what the tree looked like. I posted a pic of it in a forum & someone mentioned Tamarind, so I looked it up here. Sure enough, that's what it is! It is so graceful looking- no one around here ever saw anything like it. I have a 13 ft high sunroom that I grow citrus & tropicals in, but this one might just get too big for it unless I can somehow dwarf it. Maybe root pruning , like bonsai? After 2 yrs in a unsealed plastic bag, it still germinated to my surprise!


On May 23, 2006, CarolesJungle from Naples, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

My tree was around 5 foot when planted in 1998. Wonderful shade tree with lacy looking foliage. Interesting look when the pods are hanging from the tree. The tree was damaged in Hurricane Charlie and again in Wilma. Big limbs split off from the main trunk like a wishbone... but it did not bat an eye so far. It just keeps growing. Some of the limbs grow out and downward giving me the feeling like it is reaching out to protect the plants in the area. I keep the limbs trimmed so I can walk under it.


On Oct 15, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

The pods on the ground are perfect to be eaten, so no need to worry about trying to reach the taller branches to get the fruits. The sweet pulp inside the thin shell is a bit acid, but sweet, somewhat refreshing in my opinion. You can eat it in natura, but its more commonly used in candies and juices.


On Mar 14, 2003, drjay wrote:

This plant is quite easily grown from seed if the seeds are fresh. I'm not sure how long the seeds stay viable. I soaked them for a couple of days first, and they came up in less than two weeks. Once established they need plenty of sun.