Madras Thorn
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Madras Thorn
aturalized Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Manilla Tamarind, Madras Thorn, Sweet tamarind • Hindi: Jangal Jalebi जंगल जलेबी • Kannada: ಸೀಮೆಹುಣಸೆ Seeme hunase, ಕೊರಕಾಪುಳಿ Korakaapuli, ಕೊಟ್ಟಾಂಪುಳಿ Kottaampuli • Marathi: विलायती चिंच Vilayatichinch • Tamil: கொடுக்காப்புளி Kodukkappuli • Gujarati: વિલાયતી અંબલી Vilayati ambli
Botanical name: Pithecellobium dulce    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.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Masigarh, Delhi.

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