Pithecellobium dulce (Roxb.) Benth.

Last updated: 29 July 2015

Scientific Name

Pithecellobium dulce (Roxb.) Benth.


Acacia obliquifolia M.Martens & Galeotti, Albizia dulcis (Roxb.) F.Muell., Feuilleea dulcis (Roxb.) Kuntze, Inga camatchili Perr., Inga dulcis (Roxb.) Willd., Inga javana DC., Inga javanica DC., Inga lanceolata “sensu Blanco, non Kuntze”, Igna leucantha C.Pesl, Inga pungens Willd., Mimosa dulcis Roxb., Mimosa edulis Gagnep., Mimosa pungens (Willd.) Poir., Mimosa unguis-cati Blanco, Pithecellobium littorale Record, Pithecellobium littorale Britton & Rose ex Rec., Pithecollobium dulce (Roxb.) Benth. [Spelling variant], Zygia dulcis (Roxb.) Lyons. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Asam kranji, asam tjina [2]
English Guayamochil, Manila tamarind, sweet inga [2], ape’s ear ring, Deccan babool, Madras thorn, soap bark tree [3]
China Niu ti dou [3]
India Cakkuli, cunkatari, inka, jalebi, ekadasi, dakhani babul, karkapilli, koni, madraas mullu, kottaam pulli, seema chinta, taracatam, urucikaram, vekka, vilayatiyambi [3]
Indonesia Asam belanda, asem londo (Java); asam koranji (Sunda) [2]
Thailand Makham-thet (Central); makham-khong (Phrae) [2], makam ted, makham-thet [3]
Laos Khaam th'ééd [2]
Myanmar Kway-tanyeng [2], kwaytanyeng, kywetanyin [3]
Philippines Kamatsile (Tagalog); kamanchilis (Bisaya); damortis (Ilokano) [2]; camatsilis, chamultis, damortis, damulkis, kamachile, kamantiris, kamatsele, komonsili, kamunsil, komontres, komontos, kamansile [3]
Cambodia âm'pül tük [2]
Vietnam Me keo, keo tây [2]
Madagascar Kihy vazaha, kilimbezaha, kilimbezana, kilivazaha [3]
Japan Kinki-ju [3]
South America Azabuche, bebguiche, becigui, chucum blanco, dinde, espino playero, gallinero, guachimol, guamunchil, huamachil, humo, jina extranja, macachuni, mongollano, muchite, nempa, nipe, opiuma, tiraco, umi, umuh, yaga be guiche, yaga-piquiche [3]
Nepal Jalebi [3]
Pakistan Jangal jalebi [3]
Hawaii ‘opiuma [3].

Geographical Distributions

Pithecellobium dulce is originated 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. [2]

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. [2]

Botanical Description

P. dulce is a member of the Leguminosae family. 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. [2]

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. [2]

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. [2]

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. [2]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of P. dulce [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Pithecellobium dulce (Roxb.) Benth. [homepage on the Internet]. c203. [updated on 2010 Jul 14; cited on 2015 Jul 28]. Available from : http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/ild-243
  2. Sunarjono HH, Coronel RE.Pithecellobium dulce (Roxb.) Benth. In: Verheij EWM, Coronel RE, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 2: Edible fruits and nuts. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publisher, 1991; p. 256-257.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plant: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms and etymology. Volume IV M-Q. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p.606-607.