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tamarind (tămˈərĭnd) [key], tropical ornamental evergreen tree ( Tamarindus indica ) of the family Leguminosae (pulse family), native to Africa and probably to Asia, but now widely grown in the tropics. The fruit, a brown pod from 3 to 8 in. (8–20 cm) long, has been an article of commerce since medieval times. Within the pod is a juicy, acid pulp used as an ingredient in chutneys and curries and formerly in medicines and for preserving fish. A refreshing drink is made by adding sugar and water to the pulp. A dye is obtained from the leaves. The tamarind is grown in the West Indies and Florida especially as a flavoring for guava jellies. Tamarind is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Leguminosae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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