Indian Almond Terminalia catappa

  • Sandy Beach & Dunes
  • Sandy shores
  • Flora
  • Exotic
  • Medicinal


Terminalia catappa, is also known as Sea almond, Indian almond and also locally known as Badamier, is a tree native to tropical Asia that has been widely introduced throughout the world. It is a relatively fast-growing tree which can reach between 15 or 25 meters in height. Its trunk can grow to be as wide as 1.5 meters in diameter and is often buttressed at the base. Its branches are arranged in nearly horizontal whorls spaced in 1 to 2-meter tiers up the trunk. Its wide leaves are leathery and glossy and turn scarlet, dark red, dark purplish red or yellow during the winter months before the tree sheds its leaves completely. These are replaced by silky new purple or burgundy leaflets. Its inflorescence occurs with very small greenish white flowers which have no petals but conspicuous stamens. The species has characteristic ellipsoidal fruit which contain an edible kernel and can float long distances on the water. [1]


[1] Global Invasive Species Database. 2018. Species profile: Terminalia catappa. Downloaded from on 19-08-2018.

Habitat description

Its native range is believed to be tropical Asia. It is associated with coastal vegetation such as strandline communities and beach forests. It can also be found around rocky shores and mangroves. It is a highly adaptable tree that can thrive in different types of soils, as well as annual rainfall ranges of 1000 to 3500 millimeters and elevations below 400 meters. Although Terminalia catappa is considered naturalized, it still displaces native plant communities, particularly along the coast.


Conservation and management

The tree is widespread throughout the tropics; its status is not assessed by the IUCN Red List but can be classified as a species of ‘Least Concern’. In terms of its impact on native coastal flora, no specific assessment has been undertaken. In some areas restoration of native coastal vegetation has been carried out on a small scale.

Did you know?

Leaves of Terminalia catappa is used in Ayurvedic medicine to help soothe leprosy and treat scabies patients as well as internally for colic and headaches. [1]


[1] Mohale, Deepak & Dewani, Anil & Chandewar, Anil & Khadse, Cd & Tripathi, Dr. Alok & Agrawal, Surendra. 2009.  Brief review on medicinal potential of Terminalia catappa. J Herb Med Toxicol. 3.