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Diploglottis australis (SAPINDACEAE) Native Tamarind

Habit

Diplocyclos
Photo: Robert Whyte

Tall tree to 35m. Rainforest pioneer with large leaves and, once established, a good growth rate. Can become quite leggy even without canopy to strive for, unlike many other rainforest plants which grow their crowns as soon as they get into the sun. There are ten Diploglottis species world wide.

New shoots are densely rusty-hairy. Reasonably tolerant of urban conditions, responds badly to cold weather and frost.

Host plant for larvae of Bright Cornelian (Deudorix diovis) butterfly.

Flowers


Tamarind
Photo: Robert Whyte

Inflorescences axillary panicles. Small creamish flowers with 4-5 petals.

Diploglottis from Greek diplos double and glotta the tongue, referring to the two tongue-like glands at the base of each petal. Australis from Latin australis southern.

Fruit


Tamarind
Photo: Robert Whyte

Produces prodigious quantities of fruit -- a brown hairy capsule 2 3 lobed with 2 3 seeds surrounded by orange yellow aril. The aril surrounding the seed is edible. Although acidic in taste it can be eaten raw or sweetened in a jam.

Progagate from fresh seed. Soak in water overnight to sort out seed affected by grubs.

Fruit attractive to many birds including fruit doves, pigeons, green catbird and satin bowerbird.