TARA (CAESALPINIA SPINOSA)
Tara is a small shrub-like tree which is native to and grows throughout the Sierra (mountains)of Peru. The Andes mountains extend the length of Peru: comprised of 3 mountain ranges in the north and 2 in the south. The valleys between the mountains are the natural habitat of the Tara tree.
Tara can also be found in some other countries but on a non-commercial scale. Peru is the only country which markets commercializes its Tara resource.
Tara has “always” been present in Peru. The Inca and Pre-Inca Cultures used Tara as a dye component, as a tanning material and also as an astringent in the traditional medicine. The traditional uses are still present in Peru between campesinos (farmers) in the Sierra.
In addition to its natural development, the farmers and communities have also always planted Tara trees in small scale due to two advantages: its long roots that help to anchor the soils of hills slopes and the sharp spines of the tree that makes it ideal as protection around their fields and other crops.