Indian date

Tamarind /Indian date/Imli- Tamarindus indica

    Family: Leguminosae, 2n=24,origin=Tropical Africa
    It is the most popular tree found cultivated throughout India as stray plantation or avenue. Regular orcharding is wanting but common in waste land. The wood is used in cart wheels, rice pounders. Oil mills, etc. the bark is used in tanning, the tender leaves and flowers are eaten as a vegetable. The pulp of fruit is used for culinary purpose. The seeds are rich in pectin. India is the major producer and consumer of this fruit in the world.
    Uses and composition
    • This tree is generally grown for its fruits which are used mature or not. Immature fruits are used for chutney and ripe fruit pulp is an important ingredient in south Indian vegetable dishes to induce sourness. Continuous use of tamarind in daily food in urinary system of human beings. It is an important condiment and refreshing acid drink and syrup are also made. Seeds are eaten roasted or boiled.
    • Acidity is due to tartaric acid. Pulp is 55% of pod. Seeds have 63% starch.
    • Semi arid tropical and subtropical region but can be grown in monsoon region with god drainage. It prefers warm climate.
    • Self sown in forest and wastelands. A compost of fibrous loam and sand suits very much.
    • No standard cultivars are available. Some selections have been reported from Rahuri and Tamil Nadu.
    • The genus Tamarindus is a monotype one containing the only species indica belongs to sub family Caesalpiniaceae of the family Leguminosae.
    On the basis of fruit size and shape
    Baily recognized two types of tamarind
    1. East Indian type having long pods with 6 to 12 seeds.
    2. West Indian type having shorter pods containing 1 to 4 seeds.
    Paulos (1975) recognized a tamarind type known as ‘Valakatchi’- which bears long and rectangular pods.
    On the basis of pulp colour:
    1. The yellow or brown pulp type, turning dark brown on storage. It is harvested after full maturity.
    2. The reddish pulp type is locally known as ‘Raktichinch’
    3. A high yielding Red type (Yogeshwari) has been released by Marathawada Agriculture University, Parbhani.
    On the basis of organoleptic taste
    The cultivated types could be broadly classified into two groups viz., sweet and sour types.
    • Sweet type: The ripe fruits have sweeter pulp coupled with less acidity and fruits are mainly used for dessert purpose. Makham Waan, Secthong, Manilasweet are few cultivars found mostly in South East Asia (Thailand)Cultivar ‘Pratistan’ released by FRS, Aurangabad is a sweet type (61%).
    • Sour type: No. 263 has been released by MAU, Parbhani. Urigam+higher pulp seed ratio and cumbum (good yielder) are popular in Tamil Nadu. PKM-1 (Periyakulum-1) has been released from HRS, Periyakulam. Suitable for high density orcharding (160 plants/acre against 40 plants/acre under conventional planting.).
    Genotypes: T-9, T-10, T-11, T-12, No. 5, No. 48, No. 65, No. 67, No. 68, No. 96 and No. 109.
    • Seed propagation is common. Budding is also successful. Cuttings also root easily during rainy season. Air layering/mound layering, approach grafting, veneer grafting and softwood grafting. For arid region, in situ soft wood grafting on one year old seedling when new growth on one year old seedling when new growth takes place for which activated scion should be employed.
    • 12 X 12m, 10 X 10m, 5 X 5m latest pit size: 13 m – planting is done in the beginning of monsoon. No pruning is required.
    • Being a leguminous tree, it may not require nitrogenous fertilizer. Phosphorus application at pit filling will be advantageous.
    • Once the plant has established it hardly needs any irrigation. In heavy rainfall areas proper drainage would be essential.
    • Flowering takes place in May to June and the fruits are available in February to March.
    • A seedling tree takes 13 to 14 years for first flowering but a vegetatively propagated plant takes 7 to 10 years.
    • Productivity increases and continues to be productive for more than 60 years.
    • When harvested the fruits are almost semi-dried and do not spoil due to high acidity. A fully developed tree can give production of 200 to 250 kg per annum.
    Post harvest handling
    • After harvest the fruits are allowed to dry and their hard shell is removed.
    • Tamarind pulp is also exported to Europe and America for preparing chutney and meat sauces.
    • Under ordinary conditions the pulp remains good for about a year provided it is kept in dry conditions.
    • The tree is affected by a number of rots, such as Saprot, brownish saprot and white rot.
    • Scales, mealybug, white grubs, leaf eating caterpillars, black citrus aphids. White flies, thrips, cowbugs, bud and flower pests, fruit borers.

Last modified: Tuesday, 26 June 2012, 8:58 PM