Dialium guineense

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Dialium guineense
Dialium guineense MS 10536.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Dialium
D. guineense
Binomial name
Dialium guineense

Dialium guineense, the velvet tamarind, is a tall, tropical, fruit-bearing tree. It belongs to the family Fabaceae, and has small, typically grape-sized edible fruits with brown hard inedible shells.


It grows in dense forests in Africa along the southern edge of the Sahel. In Togo it is called atchethewh.

The velvet tamarind can be found in West African countries such as Ghana where it is known as Yoyi, Sierra Leone where it is known as “black tombla”, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau where because of its texture is called "Veludo", Portuguese for velvet, and Nigeria where it is known as Awin or "Igbaru" in Yoruba, Icheku in Igbo and Tsamiyar kurm in Hausa.


The bark and leaves have medicinal properties and are used against several diseases.[citation needed]

Dialium guineense fruit


Each fruit typically has one hard, flat, round, brown seed, typically 7-8 millimeters across and 3 millimeters thick. The seed somewhat resembles a watermelon seed (Citrullus lanatus). Some have two seeds. The seeds are shiny, coated with a thin layer of starch.

The pulp is edible and may be eaten raw or soaked in water and consumed as a beverage. The bitter leaves are ingredients in a Ghanaian dish called domoda.


Wood is hard and heavy and used for construction. The wood is also used for firewood and charcoal production

External links[edit]

  • World Agroforestry
  • Dressler, S.; Schmidt, M. & Zizka, G. (2014). "Dialium guineense". African plants – a Photo Guide. Frankfurt/Main: Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg.
  • Media related to Dialium guineense at Wikimedia Commons
  • Data related to Dialium guineense at Wikispecies