The status of this species is unclear. Accepted in some works, such as the Flora of Pakistan[
], it is seen as no more than a synonym for Sapindus trifoliatus in others. We have decided to treat the two taxons as distinct species here, until such time as clearer information is available. If they remain two distinct species then they are very similar and will have virtually the same uses[
Tree growing at Deer Park in Shamirpet, Rangareddy district, Andhra Pradesh, India
Photograph by: J.M.Garg
Sapindus emarginatus is an evergreen tree with a dense, broad crown; it can grow up to 18 metres tall. The bole can be 50cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its seed, which is used medicinally and as a source of saponins. The seeds are very widely used and are sold in quantity in markets. It is often cultivated, especially in Pakistan, for these seeds[
E. Asia - Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar
Dry, deciduous and evergreen forests of central India and Sri Lanka[146. 287].
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of the lowland tropics and subtropics, where it is found at elevations up to 500 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 32 - 40°c, but can tolerate 10 - 47°c[
]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about 2°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,000 - 2,000mm, but tolerates 500 - 2,500mm[
Prefers a position in full sun[
]. Very tolerant of a wide range of well-drained soils, including those that are dry, stony and nutrient deficient[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 6.5, tolerating 5.5 - 7[
The fruits possess several medicinal properties and are widely used, for example in the treatment of asthma, colic and dysentery, and during childbirth[
The roots and bark are used medicinally[
The fruit is rich in saponins. It is used as a substitute for soap in washing clothes, particularly delicate and natural fabrics[
]. It is also used for removing the tarnish from, and restoring, silver objects.
A semi-solid oil is extracted from the seeds[
The yellow wood is hard[
]. Very little used, it is occasionally employed in construction and making carts[
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