Other Names: Mitiambli, Mitiamli, Guayamochil, Guamachil
The manila tamarind is a fast growing, long lived tree that can grow to a height and spread of 20 m. The trunk grows with very sharp needles which helps to protects itself from animals while it is a seedling. The needles fall of from the main trunk when the tree gets large but remain on the branches. The leaves are small for such a large tree, they grow in pairs, each is oval shaped, 2-3cm long and 1-2 cm wide. The flowers are small, about 2 cm diameter and the fruit is a beanlike bulged pod curled up in a spiral that changes from green to red when ripe. Each pod contains from 6 to 10 black seeds each surrounded by white flesh. The white flesh tastes sweet and musky.
The manila tamarind is usually eaten out of hand. In some countries it is used to make a beverage.
Manila tamarind requires full sun. Trees can tolerate exceedingly hot conditions (above 40°C) and also cold conditions (less than 5°C) provided it is not prolonged.
Manila tamarinds, like the sweet/sour tamarind, will tolerate a great diversity of soil types but does best in deep, well drained soils which are slightly acid. Trees will not tolerate cold, wet soils.
Manila tamarind seeds remain viable for months and will germinate in a week after planting.