I found Jungle Jalebi the perfect name for Pithecellobium dulce known as Malnad Hunchikayi in North Karnataka and Seeme Hunase in South Karnataka. I was introduced to this plant by my cousins again in my uncle’s farm. These were planted as a fence around the farm.
Other common names are Sweet Tamarind, Madras Thorn, and Manila Tamarind and belongs to family Leguminosae/ Fabaceae / Mimosaceae.
Jungle Jalebi grows to a height of 14 – 18 meters high with drooping branches with thorns. The leaves are small, pinnate, 6-8 cm long.
Flowers are white and spherical, 1 – 2 cm in diameter with a hairy corolla. The pods are twisted and look like a Jalebi (Indian Sweet) or like a twisted Tamarind.
The pods can be 14 – 18 cm long, 1cm wide with seeds. The seeds are green or black capped with a white pulp. The white pulp is edible, which is tart and sweet to taste.
Oil is extracted from the seeds, which is used in the manufacture of soaps.
Bark, leaves, and seeds are used to cure sores, indigestion, dysentery, dermatitis, toothaches, earaches, and so on.
Propagation is by seeds.