Terminalia catappa 

Terminalia catappa L.

Family       : Combretaceae

Common Name : ബദാം (Mal)

: जंगली बादाम (Hin)

: Indian Almond(Eng)

IUCN Status : Least concern (LC) -

Indian almonds are spreading trees with large, leathery, oval leaves which turn red before they fall. The tree has a distinctive shape, its horizontal branches growing in wide spreading circles at different levels on the trunk. The greenish - white female - and male flowers are on the same tree; these flowers are inconspicuous and not very showy. The pale green fruit is the size and shape of an almond in its shell. Some varieties become reddish-purple when ripe. The nuts are edible, taste like almonds and are eaten. A highly ornamental tree, much planted in avenues and gardens. 

Trees, to 25 m high, crown spreading, often buttressed; young shoots rusty or brown tomentose; branchlets with prominent leaf scars. Leaves simple, alternate, densely clustered at the tip of branchlets, 13-30 x 6-20 cm, obovate, orbicular-obovate, base cuneate, acute or attenuate, apex round, obtuse, retuse or apiculate, puberulent beneath, coriaceous; lateral nerves 6-13 pairs, pinnate, prominent, intercostae reticulate; domatia occasionally present; 2 prominent glands on either side at the base of the midrib beneath; petiole 8-15 mm long, stout, pubescent. Flowers polygamous, 4 mm across, sessile, white or yellowish-green, in axillary simple, rusty pubescent racemes 8-20 cm long. Calyx tube 3-5 x 1-1.3 mm, pubescent, cupular, 3.5-5 x 3-5 mm; teeth 5, triangular or ovate, 1-2 x 1.5-2 mm, acute, glabrous. Petals absent. Stamens 10; filaments 3-4 mm long; anthers oblong, disc villous. Ovary inferior, 5 mm long, 1-celled, ovule pendulous; style 2-4 mm long. Fruits a drupe, 3-7 x 2.5-4.5 cm, broadly ellipsoid to ovoid, laterally compressed, inflated, brown or reddish-brown, glabrous, glossy, mesocarp fibrous; seed 1.

Use: The kernels resemble Almond and largely eaten in countryside. The bark and leaf are used for dying fibers. The leaf-juice is applied externally for scabies, leprosy, skin-disease, headache, etc. The timber is used for house construction.

Distribution : Malaysia to North Australia and Polynesia, commonly planted in the tropics

Flowering & Fruiting : March-January