101 YUCATAN TREES INDEX

WILD TAMARIND #2 - Tsalam

WILD TAMARINDThis second "Wild Tamarind," which the Maya call Tsalam, is Lysiloma latisiliquum. Though its ferny leaves look like those of several other common trees in the area, during the early dry season -- in December or so -- when the tree is fruiting its easy to distinguish because of its large, flat, legumes with swollen edges and, most conspicuously, the odd manner by which the legumes' dark covering flakes off, making the pods look faded and weatherbeaten, as shown at the right.

The online Biblioteca Digital de la Medicina Tradicional Mexicana says that traditionally this tree's leaves have been roasted and pounded into powder to apply to sores and wounds.

Traditionally Tsalam has been a source of natural dye, the soaked bark or core wood yielding a reddish brown hue. Its dye varies in intensity depending on the age of the tree and the season. The bark can be stored for a few days and still be effective. It is a natural mordant.

101 YUCATAN TREES INDEX