We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Pithecellobium?

By Angie Bates
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Pithecellobium is a genus of plants with both trees and shrubs, which all produce seed pods containing seeds and pulpy fruit. Species are found primarily in tropical regions of north and central America and parts of Asia. The various species of pithecellobium are diverse, and are often used for woodworking, natural privacy screens, and food.

Species of pithecellobium vary in size and shape. Some species are more shrub-like, and others are small- or medium-sized trees. Every species produces pod-shaped fruit and most have powderpuff-shaped flowers in yellow or white. There is some confusion regarding this genus since many species once classified as pithecellobium have since been recategorized in other genera.

Pithecellobium flexicaule, or Texas ebony, is an example of a species that has since been reclassified. Now more commonly referenced as Ebenopsis ebano, Texas ebony has the brown pods and white puffy flowers seen on all pithecellobium plants. Texas ebony is a large shrub, usually reaching 15–30 feet (4.5–9.1 m) tall and equally wide. As its name suggests, it is primarily seen in Texas, though many can be found in northern Mexico as well. This species has many thorns on its branches, so works well as natural fencing or privacy screens.

One of the most well known pithecellobium species is Pithecellobium dulce. Commonly called a Manila tamarind tree, dulce is native to central America but was intentionally cultivated in the Caribbean, Florida, and Hawaii, where it is often considered a weed. The tamarind tree is useful for its fruit. The pulp is eaten raw or used in drinks and the seeds are ingredients in many Indian and Thai dishes.

The Manila tamarind is also used as a shade tree or, in topiary art, tree sculptures. It can grow as tall as 60 feet (18.2 m) but is usually 33–49 feet (10–15 meters) high. Being a very hardy tree, Manila tamarind is able to cope with temperatures over 100&degF; (37.7&degC;) and brief dips below freezing. Drought tolerant, the Manila tamarind can grow in most types of soil.

Another common pithecellobium species is Pithecellobium saman. Also called monkey-pod or a rain tree, is it found natively in Central and South America, but has become a staple in Hawaii for use in wood carvings and furniture, particularly in the tourist trade. Monkey-pod has the telltale powderpuff flowers and brown pods of its genus. The pods are often eaten by children and animals in Hawaii and are said to taste like licorice.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.