Pithecellobium dulce (Roxb.) Benth.

Pithecellobium dulce (Roxb.) Benth.




Mimosa dulcis Roxb, Inga dulcis (Roxb.) Willd.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Asam kranji, asam tjina.
English Guayamochil, Manila tamarind, sweet inga.
Indonesia Asam belanda, asem londo (Java), asam koranji (Sunda).
Philippines Kamatsile (Tagalog), kamanchilis (Bisaya), damortis (Ilokano).



âm'pül tük.

Laos Khaam th'ééd.

Makham-thet (central), makham-khong (Phrae).


Me keo, keo tây.

Geographical Distributions

Pithecellobium dulce originates from Central America. It has been naturalised throughout the tropics. It was introduced into Indonesia by the Portuguese traders and in the Philippines by the Spaniards. It is also common in Malaysia and Thailand.


This is a shrub or small tree, up to 10 m tall, with hairless round branchlets 4-10 mm long, armed with straight, paired and stipular spines.

The leaves are abruptly bipinnate, with a single pair of pinnae only, while the rachis is 1-2.5 cm long. The pinnae with rachis are up to 7.5 mm long, with small terminal stipular spines. There are two leaflets per pinna, opposite, sessile, ovate-asymmetrical, measuring 1.5-3.5 cm x 1-2 cm and hairless.

The inflorescences are in terminal panicles, hairy and up to 10 cm long. The peduncles are 1-2 cm long and bearing globular heads with 15-20 sessile whitish flowers. The sepal and petal are tubular, 1.5 mm and 3.5 mm long respectively. The filaments are white.

The fruit (pod) is flattened, linear-oblong but curled up, 1 cm wide, coriaceous fleshy and reddish-brown. The seeds are flattened, obovate-asymmetrical, measuring 9 mm x 7 mm x 2 mm, blackish, with a thick, spongy and rather dry aril.

Ecology / Cultivation

P. dulce is not exacting in its climatic requirements and grows well at low and medium altitudes in both wet and dry areas under full sunlight. Although well-drained soil is best, it also grows successfully in heavy clay soils.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.2: Edible fruits and nuts.