Terminalia bellirica (Gaertn.) Roxb.
Family : Combretaceae
Common Name : താന്നി (Mal)
Bedda nut tree (Eng)
IUCN Status : Least Concern (LC) ↓
Deciduous trees, to 35 m high, bole often buttressed; branches sympodial, branchlets terete, thinly fulvous-hairy. Leaves simple, clustered at the tip of branchlets, 9-35 x 5-16 cm, obovate, elliptic or obovate-elliptic, apex obtusely acuminate, base obliquely cuneate, attenuate or acute; petiole 1.5-8 cm, stout; lateral nerves 7-10 pairs, pinnate, prominent; intercostae reticulate. Flowers bisexual, greenish-yellow, 5-6 mm across, in axillary spikes; peduncle puberulous; bracteoles 0.5-2 mm long, linear-lanceolate, caduceus. Calyx tube 2-2.5 ×1.3-2 mm, rusty pubescent, constricted above the ovary; lobes 5, cream, triangular, tomentose; disc 5-lobed, villous. Petals absent. Ovary 1.5 mm, inferior, tomentose, 1-celled; ovules 2 or 3, pendulous; style 4 mm, subulate; stigma small. Fruit a drupe 2-2.5 x 1.8 cm, obovoid, obscurely 5-ridged, yellowish-brown, honed, not winged, softly tomentose; seed one, ellipsoid.
Use: The fruit is used for dyeing and tanning. One of the Thriphala of Ayurveda. Fruit is used in the treatment of diseases of liver and heart, bronchitis, diabetes, indigestion etc. Oil from seeds is applied for the growth of hair. Seeds eaten. Exudation from stem used for relief from itching caused by ticks. The timber is valuable and used for making house, boats, tea-chests, carts and paper. Bark is a good antidote to the allergy caused by Holigarna spp. This species is used by some tribes in the Indian subcontinent for its mind-altering qualities - they smoke dried kernels. Too much of this can cause nausea and vomiting.
Distribution : Indo-Malesia and China
Flowering & Fruiting : December-January