As I stumbled upon a picture of a cute small, orchid-like flower, I was more then surprised as it was an image of a Tamarind flower. Tamarind fruits are very common in our homecountry Thailand, but I never saw a Tamarind tree in Chiang Mai. I asked my botanical friends and they had to disappoint me. You`ll have to go to North-East Thailand (Isaan) there are many of them. So I had to forget this cute, little flower. A few weeks later a friend came to visit. Come on ! Take Your camera, I have a surprise for You, he said. So we jumped on our motorcycle and went inside the old city of Chiang Mai,
where he presented me a Tamarind tree in full flower.

The Tamarind tree (Tamarindus indica) is native to tropical Africa. Several thousand years ago Arabic traders brought the plant to Asia, where it`s widely spread nowadays. Tamarind fruits became an important ingredient in the Asian cuisine, especially in South-East Asia and are also used in nature medicine. The tropical tree reach heights of about 30 meters and an age of up to 200 years. The flowers get a size of about 2,5 cm.
More about the culinary use: Tamarind

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Image: Tamarind Flower (Tamarindus indica)

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