Terminalia catappa   L.  (Plant)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Equisetopsida

Image copyrights: G.D. Carr

Size: Usually a small to medium-sized tree 30–50 ft (9–15 m) high and 1 ft (0.3 m) in trunk diameter.

Color: Bark gray, smoothish, thin, becoming slightly fissured. Inner bark pinkish brown, slightly bitter and astringent. Twigs brown, finely hairy when young, slender but swollen at leaf scars and nodes.

Leaves alternate but crowded near ends of twigs, with stout finely brown hairy leafstalks of 3⁄8–3⁄4 inch (1–2 cm). Blades 6–11 inches (15–28 cm) long and 31⁄2–6 inches (9–15 cm) broad, abruptly short-pointed or rounded at apex and gradually narrowed toward rounded base, not toothed on edges, slightly thickened, upper surface shiny green or dark green and hairless, and lower surface paler and often finely brown hairy.

Flower clusters (narrow racemes) at leaf bases are 2– 6 inches (5–15 cm) long. Flowers numerous small greenish white, 3⁄16–1⁄4 inch (5–6 mm) across, mostly shortstalked, with slightly unpleasant odor, mostly male and a few bisexual flowers near base (polygamous). Both kinds have a greenish white or light brown hairy calyx with cup-shaped tube and five or six pointed spreading lobes 1⁄16 inch (1. 5mm) long and bearing twice as many small stamens near base. Bisexual and female flowers, which are stalkless, have a slender style and a narrow basal tube (hypanthium) 3⁄16 inch (5mm) long, brownish green and finely hairy, resembling a stalk but containing the inferior single-celled ovary.

Fruits (drupes) about 1 inch (2.5 cm) broad, pointed, slightly flattened and with one or two narrowly winged edges, light brown at maturity. The thin outer layer is slightly sour and can be eaten. Inside the hard fibrous husk there is a light brown, thick hard stone containing an oily seed or nut about 11⁄4 inches (3 cm) long and 3⁄8 inch (1 cm) broad, somewhat like the true almond. Flowering and fruiting nearly through the year.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Estuarine, Coastal


• Pondicherry (Lat: 11.7) (Long: 76.6) INDIA
• Pondicherry (Lat: 12.5) (Long: 79.88) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, South Andaman INDIA
• Kerala INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Balachandran, N; Kichenamourthy, S; Muthukumaran, J; Jayakanthan, M; Chandrasekar, M; Punetha, A and Sundar, D (2009) Diversity of true mangroves and their associates in the Pondicherry region of south India and development of a mangrove knowledgebase Journal of Ecology and The Natural Environment Academic Journals 1 99-105 Available at - www.academicjournals.org/jene/.../Balachandran%20et%20al.htm
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • Botany University of Hawai'i at Manoa Available at - http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/
  • Veenakumari, K and Prashanth, M (2009) A note on the entomofauna of mangrove associates in the Andaman Islands (Indian Ocean: India) Journal of Natural History Taylor and Francis Ltd 43 807-823 Available at - http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/ftinterface~content=a909513066~fulltext=713240930~frm=content
  • Rodrigues, RS; Mascarenhas, A; Jagtap, TG (2011) An evaluation of flora from coastal sand dunes of India: Rationale for conservation and management Ocean & Coastal Management Elsevier B.V. 54(2) 181-188 Available at - http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2010.11.005

Page last updated on:2011-03-23

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