It is a leguminous tree that grows wild on poor soils with little rain where other plants have tough time surviving. The tree makes its own food like any other legume or bean family plants. Its long pods are coiled and serve as poor man’s food. Unlike green beans, only the contents of the pod, the black shiny seeds and its fleshy pulp covering are edible. Thick, fleshy and sweet pulp is the tastiest part of the pod. When ripe, the greenish pink spiral pods split open to expose whitish pink pulp. Rich in nutrients and sweet, the pulp is easy pickings for animals particularly monkeys thus the tree is unfairly called the Monkeypod tree.The seeds are also edible though the seed pulp covering is mostly eaten for its sweet taste and mouth feel. Handful of well ripe spiral pods would satisfy a hungry man. The thorns on the tree make it a hedge plant to keep animals out. The tree wood is hard and pliable to make fancy gift items. The tree that needs no cultivation depends little on rain and soil nutrients, and produces plentiful sweet pods for easy pickings deserves a name like sweet pods or Easy Pickings not Monkeypod, Manila Tamarind or Madras Thorn tree. How these bizarre names came about?
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