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(Burmese) : tari
(Cambodia) : khvaw banla
(Filipino) : teri-pod plant
(Lao (Sino-Tibetan)) : kachaay
(Thai) : khee raet
(Vietnamese) : moc meo xanh (Dong Nai)
A prickly climber or scandent shrub, 2-5 m tall. Pinnae in 8-13 pairs, leaflets in 6-12 pairs, oblong-elliptic, 5-13 mm x 2.5-5 mm, subsessile. Flowers in long racemes, fairly large, with petals 8-10 mm long, yellow. Pods oblong-elliptic, 3-6 cm x 1.5-2 cm, constricted between the seeds (1-)2-3(-4)-seeded.
Ecology and distributionNatural Habitat
C. digyna is found in thickets, light forests and forest borders, in Indo-China up to 1200 m. In Indonesia C. digyna occurs in drier areas up to 200 m.
C. digyna has a distribution comparable with the preceding species, but is not found further north than Hainan in China.
Biophysical limitsAltitude: Up to 200(-1200) m.
Propagation and managementPropagation methodsPlants are propagated by seed. The seeds of C. digyna plant are very hard and must be scarified before sowing.
During the first two years, watering is necessary in the dry season. Mature trees require no care, and forage crops can be planted between trees.
Functional usesProductsTannin or dyestuff: The pods of C. digyna and C. coriacaria are very rich in tannin, and is used in tanning industry. For tanning leather, the tan-stuff from the pods is generally used as a blend, mixed with other tanning materials. The pods can also serve to prepare a blackish or blueish dye and a black ink, and are sometimes employed as a mordanting agent. The wood is reported to contain a red dye. Medicine: C. digyna is reported to treat tuberculosis and diabetes. Fodder: The seeds of C. digyna can serve as cattle feed. Lipids: Teri-pod contain an oil which can be used in lamps.
Tannin or dyestuff: The pods of C. digyna contain very high percentages of tannin, 40-45% and 40-60% (de-seeded pods), respectively, lack ellagitannin and also reported to contain mainly monodigalloyl glucose. Teri pods extracts are liable to deteriorate rapidly, especially in hot climates. It produces a light-coloured leather, which is, however, easily affected by atmospheric conditions, being soft and spongy under damp conditions. Fermentation takes place readily because of the large amount of sugars present; it often results in reddish stains in the leather. Fodder: The seeds of C. digyna contain ca. 15% protein, 40% starch and 25% fat and are suitable for use as a cattle feed in admixture with other pulses.
C. digyna was always of local importance only.
Harvesting: The prickles on the branches and twigs of teri-pod plant are a deterrent to the collection of the pods. Because of its prickly nature this plant has never been extensively cultivated, and pods are collected from wild plants.
Teri-pod plant might be an interesting source of vegetable tannin on a larger scale. The species is indigenous in South-East Asia, the tannin is easily extracted and it has excellent tanning properties. The seeds are nutritious with a high protein and oil content. Research priorities should concentrate on the development of cultivation methods that make the collection of pods from the prickly plant less troublesome, and methods of mechanical removal of the seeds.
BibliographyBoonkerd, T., Na Songkhla, B. & Thephuttee, W., 1992. Caesalpinia L. In Lemmens, R.H.M.J. & Wulijarni-Soetjipto, N. (Eds.): Plant Resources of South-East Asia. No. 3: Dye and tannin-producing plants. Prosea Foundation, Bogor, Indonesia. pp. 57-60.
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