Dialium indum L., Mant. 1 (1767)

Latin for 'from the East Indies'.

Dialium angustisepalum Ridley
Dialium javanicum Burm.f.
Dialium laurinum Baker in Hook.f.
Dialium laurinum var. bursa de Wit
Dialium marginatum de Wit
Dialium patens Baker in Hook.f.
Dialium turbinatum de Wit

Upper canopy tree up to 43 m tall and 95 cm dbh. Stipules ca. 5 mm long. Leaves alternate, compound, leaflets alternating, penni-veined, glabrous. Flowers ca. 8 mm diameter, white-yellowish, placed in branched inflorescences. Fruits ca. 20 mm diameter, blue-black, fleshy hairy pods filled with seed in pulp.

Trees, up to 43 m high, dbh up to 95 cm; twigs rather slender, grey to dark brown, lenticellate, young parts hairy. Stipules small, dropped early. Leaves including petiole (7-)10-15(-20) cm long, alternate, imparipinnate; petiolules (3-)4-6(-10) mm long, late glabrescent. Leaflets (5-)7-9(-ll), alternate, ovate-oblong or ovate-lanceolate to elliptic, (4-)6-10(-11) by (2.5-)3-5(-7) cm, (stiff) coriaceous; apex (long) acuminate to cuspidate, or obtuse to rounded; base rounded to cuneate; surfaces usually concolorous, glabrous above, glabrous to late glabrescent beneath; nerves 8-10(-14) pairs, nervation fine, distinct beneath. Panicles terminal, the lower primary branches usually subtended by leaves or in fascicles axillary to fallen leaves, rachis 10- 20 cm long; pedicels 2-6 mm. Flowers white. Sepals 5, ovate-oblong to elliptic, up to 5 by 2.5 mm, minutely hairy inside. Stamens 2; filaments up to 1.5 mm long; anthers oblongish, 3.5-4.5(-5) mm long, usually opening before anthesis, connective sparsely hairy on both sides. Ovary sessile, up to 2 mm long, white hairy; style short, straight to slightly recurved at top. Fruits globose to ovoid, sometimes slightly compressed, 1.5-2(-2.5) by 1-1.5 cm; exocarp brittle, hairy but not velvety. Seeds in pulp, squarish to reniform, 7-12 by 5 mm, testa light to dark brown, shiny. [from Flora Malesiana]

In undisturbed mixed dipterocarp and sub-montane forests up to 1200 m altitude. Usually on hillsides and ridges on sandy to clay soils, but also on ultrabasic and limestone.

The fruit is edible. The flavor of the fruit is similar to tamarind, where it derives its English name. Usually has a Sweet-Sour taste. Compared to Tamarind, it is Sweetier, Dryier, Powder-like and the Shell is Thicker. The fruit is used as a candy-like snack food in Thailand, often dried, sugar-coated and spiced with chili. The dried fruit has a powdery texture, and is orange in color with a tangy flavor. The bark and leaves have medicinal properties and are used against several diseases. The wood is very hard and compact and is highly valued.

Peninsular Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo.

Local names
Borneo: Keran-keran, Keranji, Keranji bernang, Keranji madu.
English: Velvet tamarind.
Malaysia: Keranji.
Thailand: Luk Yee, Yee.