Botanical Name : Pithecellobium dulce (Roxb.)Benth.
Family : Mimosaceae (touch-me-not family)
Madras Thorn is a large, nearly evergreen tree that grows up to 20 m or more in height, Madras Thorn has a broad crown, up to 30 m across, and a short trunk, up to 1 m thick, At the base of each leaf is normally found a pair of short, sharp spines, though some specimens are spineless. Leaves are deciduous but foliage is persistent, as the new leaves appear while the old ones are being shed, so that the tree looks like an evergreen. Flowers are borne in small spherical glomerules of about 1 cm in diameter, forming short axillary panicles of 5-30 cm in length. Flowers are white-greenish slightly fragrant 1.0-1.5 mm in diameter, with a hairy corolla, 50 thin stamina, connate in a tube at their basis, surrounded by the green calyx. Pods are greenish-brown to red or pinkish, rather thin, 10-15 cm long x 1-2 cm wide. There are about 10 seeds per pod. Pods are irregularly in shape and flattened, set in a spirals of 1 to 3 whorls and strangled between the seeds – looks like the north Indian sweet, Jalebi, hence its common Hindi name.
Names in different Indian languages :
English : Manilla Tamarind, Madras Thorn, Sweet tamarind
Hindi : Jangal Jalebi
Kannada : Seeme hunase
Marathi : Vilayatichinch
Tamil : Kodukkappuli
Gujarati : Vilayati ambli
Acacia obliquifolia M.Martens & Galeotti
Albizia dulcis (Roxb.)F.Muell.
Feuilleea dulcis (Roxb.)Kuntze
Inga camatchili Perr.
Inga dulcis (Roxb.)Willd.
Inga javana DC.
Inga javanica DC.
Inga lanceolata Sensu Blanco, non Kuntze
Inga leucantha C.Presl
Inga pungens Willd.
Mimosa dulcis Roxb.
Mimosa edulis Gagnep.
Mimosa pungens (Willd.)Poir.
Mimosa unguis-cati Blanco
Pithecellobium littorale Record
Tree Type: Deciduous
Leaf Type: Kaggli like
Flower: In terminal or axillary panicled spikes; cream. Flowering from December-February.
Fruit: A strap-shaped pod, moniliform, circinate or falcate; seeds orbicular, shiny, with white aril. Fruiting February onwards.
Field tips: Bark ash-coloured with many spines throughout.
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate-spiral
Leaf Type: Bipinnate
Leaf Shape: Oblong-oblanceolate
Leaf Apex: Obtuse
Leaf Base: Obtuse
Leaf Margin: Entire
Distribution & Habitat :
Dry, brushy or thinly forested plains or hillsides, often in coastal thickets, at elevations from sea level to 500 metres.
Therapeutic Uses :
The bark is used as an astringent for dysentery in India.
It is said to have been used as an antipyretic in India (information originally from 1933), used for eye inflammation, although an anecdote from Sri Lanka claims the bark contains a substance that causes eye infections and swelling of the eyelids.
The Huastec people of northern Veracruz and San Luis Potosí in Mexico used different parts of the tree to treat gum ailments, toothache and cancer.
The leaves are said to be used in a poultice with alcohol to treat bile, as well as being used to prevent abortions/miscarriage, although the leaves are also said to be used to cause abortions.
The pulp from the fruits is said to be astringent and hemostatic, and used for hemoptysis.
The ground seed is sometimes traditionally used to clean ulcers.
Non-specified parts of the plant are said to be used extract is also used against hemorrhages, chronic diarrhea, and tuberculosis.