Indian Almond Tree (ബദാം)

Scientific Name: Terminalia catappa L.

Synonyms: Badamia commersoni Gaertn., Myrobalanus terminalia Poir.

Unique ID: 207

Systematic Position

Class: Dicotyledonae

Sub Class:Polypetalae                   

Series: Calcyflorae

Order: Myrtales

Family: Combretaceae

Common Names

English – Indian Almond tree

Malayalam – ബദാം

Tamil – Nattu-vadam

Hindi – Jangli-badam



Description: Trees to 20 m tall; trunk to 2 m dbh. Bark brownish black, longitudinally peeling. Branches spreading, forming tiers. Branchlets densely brownish yellow tomentose near apex, densely covered with conspicuous leaf scars. Leaves alternate, crowded into pseudo-whorls at apices of branchlets; petiole 0.5–2 cm, stout, tomentose; leaf blade obovate to oblanceolate, narrowed in proximal half, 12–30 × 8–15 cm, both surfaces glabrous or abaxially sparsely softly hairy when young, base narrow, cordate or truncate, apex obtuse or mucronate; lateral veins in 10–12 pairs. Inflorescences axillary, simple, long, slender spikes, 15–20 cm, numerous flowered; axis shortly white tomentose. Flowers fragrant. Calyx tube distally cupular, 7–8 mm, abaxially white tomentose, densely so on ovary, sparsely so on cupular part, adaxially glabrous; lobes 5. Stamens 10, exserted, 2–3 mm. Fruit not stipitate, red or blackish green when ripe, ellipsoid, slightly to strongly compressed, strongly 2-ridged to narrowly 2-winged (wings to 3 mm wide), 3–5.5 × 2–3.5 cm, glabrous; pericarp woody, rigid


Habitat: T. catappa grows in coastal thickets, beaches, rocky shores, sand dunes, parks, gardens, and edges of mangrove swamps. It is a pioneer species in disturbed sites across littoral habitats and in sandy areas just above the level of high tides


Distribution: T. catappa is native to the Malaysian Peninsula, Southeast Asia and the Andaman Islands. 

Uses:  Ornamental, traditional medicine, wood products, food, essential oil,gum,resin, fuelwood, agroforestry, fodder/animal feed