Terminalia catappa L.

Terminalia catappa L.

Family

Combretaceae

Synonyms

Terminalia moluccana Lamk, Terminalia procera Roxb., Terminalia latifolia Blanco non Swartz.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia

Ketapang (General), lingkak (Peninsular).

English

Indian almond, Singapore almond.

Indonesia

Ketapang (General).

Papua New Guinea

Reddish-brown terminalia (Pidgin).

Philippines

Talisai (Tagalog, Bisaya), dalinsi (Bicol), logo (Ilokano).

Cambodia

Châm'bâk barang'.

Laos

Huu kwaang, sômz moox dông.

Thailand

Khon (Narathiwat), dat mue (Trang), taa-pang (Phitsanulok, Satun).

Vietnam

Báng biên, báng nu'ó'c.

French           

Badamier.

Geographical Distributions

Terminalia catappa is native to Southeast Asia, where it is common throughout the area but apparently rare in Sumatra and in Borneo. Indian almond is commonly planted in northern Australia, Polynesia, as well as in Pakistan, India, East and West Africa, Madagascar and the lowlands of South and Central America.

Description

Terminalia catappa is a deciduous, moderate tree that can grow up to 10-25(-35) m tall. It has pagoda-like habit, particularly when the tree is young. Its stem is often buttressed at the base with diametre up to 1.5 m. The bark is dark grey-brown and fissured. The branches are arranged in tiers, spaced 1-2 m apart, long and horizontal that gives the tree a curiously regular appearance. The young branches are thickened, densely hairy, but usually quickly become hairless.

The leaves are arranged alternately, short-petioled, clustered at branch tips, usually obovate, but sometimes more or less elliptic, and measuring (8-)15-25(-38) cm x (5-)8-15(-24) cm. They are papery to thinly leather shiny, more or less smooth and minutely wart, with a subcordate base, usually provided with 2 glands and a rounded or shortly acuminate apex.

The flowers are axillary, with spikes 8-16 cm long, in which the majority is male, while a few bisexual flowers are present only towards the base. They are very small, greenish-white, with a barbate disk, 5 sepal lobes, usually 10 stamens and a style. The petals are absent.

The fruit is an ovoid or ellipsoid drupe, measuring 3.5-7 cm x 2-5( -5.5) cm, slightly flattened, with a prominent keel, usually smooth, and green to yellow and red at maturity. The stone is surrounded by a layer of juicy flesh 3-6 mm thick.

Terminalia catappa can generally be recognised at once by its stiff outstanding branches and big leaves, which are arranged in rosettes.

Ecology / Cultivation

Terminalia catappa occurs naturally on sandy or rocky beaches. It is tolerant of saline soils and not averse to ocean spray; it is very wind-resistant and prefers full sun or medium shade. It survives only in tropical and near-tropical regions with more or less humid climate. In its natural habitat, the annual precipitation is about 3000 mm. Indian almond grows well on all soils providing there is good drainage. It is frequently cultivated up to 800 m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph

Terminalia_catappa

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References

  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.3: Dye and Tannin-Producing Plants.