Wild tamarind
Lysiloma latisiliquum

Wild Tamarind

Wild tamarind is native to hammocks within Everglades National Park and portions of the Upper Keys. This large, fast growing tree, up to 50 feet tall, will do well through Palm Beach County and survive freezing temperatures for short periods.

This is a great spreading accent tree with tiny leaflets that fall briefly in the spring.It has many one inch round white flowers that attract butterflies and bees. The seed pods are thin and dry and do not make a mess.

Plant wild tamarind in deep soil, and gradually prune the branches so that they are evenly spaced and have a wide angle to the trunk. Sharp angled branches tend to break off. The soil should be deep and dry and not too fertile or else the tree will grow too fast and tend to break in only moderate winds. A tree that starts breaking early in moderate winds should be moved or removed if the leader is lost.

Warblers and other birds pick tiny insects from the bark. Plant from the south side to the northwest corner of the house for summer shade. The tiny leaflets will fall in the early spring and allow sunlight to warm your home. Wild tamarind allows just enough light thru to support shade tolerant shrubs underneath.

The foliage is the larval food for the cassius blue, large orange sulphur and the mimosa yellow butterflies. Female large orange sulphur butterflies are often seen hovering around this tree as they look for new leaves to lay their eggs on.

Can be under planted with wild coffee, firebush, coontie, marlberry, wild plumbago, white stopper and other native shrubs. When planted near a window and under planted with these shrubs to hide in, birds will have enough protection to visit a feeder and bird bath. From your window you can easily watch painted buntings, warblers, cardinals, vireos and many other birds. Painted buntings love the young seeds of red salvia which is shade tolerant.