Rain tree, Coco tamarind (Samanea saman) Flowering tree close up with buds.
Common name: Rain Tree, Coco tamarind, Acacia preta, French tamarind, Saman, Monkey pod • Hindi: गुलाबी सिरिस Gulabi Siris, Vilaiti siris • Bengali: Biliti siris • Tamil: Amaivagai, Thoongumoonji maram.
Botanical name: Albizia saman (Jacq.) Merr. Albizia saman Family: Mimosaceae (Touch-me-not family) Synonyms: Samanea saman, Acacia propinquaMimosa saman
Large, handsome and spreading, the Rain Tree is easily recognised by its umbrella like canopy of evergreen, feathery foliage and puffs of pink flowers. Samanea saman meaning “rain”, but in India it is believed that the name was given because of a curious habit possessed by the tree of intermittently spraying the ground beneath with moisture. Later it was discovered that this was caused by multitudinous minute insects. The fruit is a fleshy pod, sweet to the taste and much relished by squirrels, horses and cattle.