Journal of
Horticulture and Forestry

  • Abbreviation: J. Hortic. For.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9782
  • DOI: 10.5897/JHF
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 302

Full Length Research Paper

Evaluation of morphological diversity of tamarind (Tamarindus indica) accessions from Eastern parts of Kenya

Mercy Liharaka Kidaha
  • Mercy Liharaka Kidaha
  • Horticulture Department in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Wariara Kariuki
  • Wariara Kariuki
  • School of theology, Scott Christian University, Kenya.
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Fredah K. Rimberia
  • Fredah K. Rimberia
  • Horticulture Department in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Remmy Kasili Wekesa
  • Remmy Kasili Wekesa
  • Institute for Biotechnology Research in Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 27 August 2018
  •  Accepted: 09 November 2018
  •  Published: 31 January 2019


Tamarind is native to tropical parts of Africa and Asia. It shows considerable phenotypic variation in morphological and horticultural traits that can be utilized in its genetic improvement. In Kenya, there exists a wide range of tamarind germplasm that has not been characterized. Initial characterization is based on morphological descriptors. The objective of this study is to evaluate morphological diversity of tamarind germplasm from Eastern parts of Kenya. Tamarind germplasms were collected from Kitui, Mwingi, Masinga, Embu and Kibwezi and then characterized using morphological descriptors based on seed, fruit and stem. Morphological characters were recorded and data from eighty-nine accessions were submitted to principal component and hierarchic ascendant analysis (HAC) and Euclidian average distance. Accessions from Kibwezi, Embu and Kitui showed the greatest diversity while accessions from Masinga and Mwingi had the least diversity. Trunk diameter at ground, pod weight, number of seeds/pod, height to the first branch and pod width showed greatest variation in principal component analysis. High morphological diversity obtained in these regions can be used to initiate new breeding and conservation programmes in tamarind for improved fruit and tree crop.

Key words: Tamarind, morphology, diversity, accessions, principle component.