Wild Tamarind

Also known as:
Lead Tree
Mexico and Central America

General description

Evergreen shrub or small tree < 10 m tall. Stems are green and hairy, maturing to grey-brown and smooth with many raised pores. Leaves are alternate and bipinnate, with < 10 pairs of pinnae and < 22 pairs of elongated, pointy-tipped pinnules. Flowers are white and borne in dense globe-shaped clusters on spikes in summer. Seed pods are elongated, flattened, green ripening to brown, pointy-tipped and contain glossy, brown seeds.

What you need to know

Although wild tamarind is not a legally declared pest plant, it may still be invasive in some situations. Consider lower risk alternatives for your garden, such as native plants.

Coastal areas, open areas, riparian margins, disturbed sites, wasteland, gardens, roadsides.

Seeds dispersed by water, wind, gravity, insects, rodents and livestock. Human-mediated dispersal through movement of contaminated soil.

Can form dense thickets, outcompeting and displacing native vegetation. Nitrogen fixer. Can be toxic to livestock.

Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Crown lift to allow understory plants to establish or to underplant prior to controlling large trees.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seeds

Disposal options: Trees can be chipped and used as mulch, preferably when not in seed


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications
Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with double strength glyphosate gel
Ringbark and paste cut with double strength glyphosate gel

Basic Growsafe certified
Foliar spray seedlings with 200ml glyphosate green per 10L of water
Ringbark and spray cut with 750ml glyphosate green per 1 L of water

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user
Drill and inject trees with 750ml glyphosate green and 10ml penetrant per 1L of water, if safe to do so. Drill 18mm holes (tangentially angled downwards) in a spiral up the trunk. For 50mm stems drill one hole. For 100mm stems drill two holes. For larger stems drill holes 150mm apart.
Foliar spray seedlings with 200ml glyphosate green per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant.

Safety notes

Large trees must not be drilled or ringbarked that are closer than 1.5 times the height of the tree from paths, walkways and property.

Trees over 4 metres in height should be removed by a qualified arborist.

CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Search tags

RPMP status

Not a legally declared pest plant
Wild tamarind - Main species image