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  Terminalia catappa L.
  Family Name : Combretaceae

  Synonyms : Terminalia latifolia, Terminalia moluccana

  Common Names : Sea Almond, Ketapang, Tropical Almond Tree, Pacific Almond, Singapore Almond, Indian Almond, Lingtak, Bastard Almond, Telisai, Jelawai Ketapang

  Chinese Name : 榄仁树

Sea Almond,Ketapang,Tropical Almond Tree,Pacific Almond,Singapore Almond,Indian Almond,Lingtak,Bastard Almond,Telisai,Jelawai Ketapang
  • Record Info
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Tree (Big (>30m))
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Plant Shape :
      Maximum Height :
      35 m
      Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width :
      20 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      From tropical Asia to North Australia and Polynesia
      Native Habitat :
      Terrestrial (Coastal Forest), Shoreline (Mangrove Forest; Sandy Beach; Rocky Beach)
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
      Local Conservation Status :
      Native to Singapore (Common)
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: It is a pagoda-shaped tree that can grow up to 35 m, and will shed its leaves twice a year. Its leaves are clustered at the end of the twigs.
      Trunk: The trunk is often buttressed, with grey bark that is slightly fissured.
      Foliage: It has spiral, stalked leaves that are papery to thinly leathery, dark green above, yellowish green below, and will turn red before falling. Each leaf is reverse-egg-shaped, 8–38 cm long by 5–19 cm wide, with 6–12 pairs of veins arising from the main vein of the leaf, and a pair of glands at the base of the leaf.
      Flowers: The plant is monoecious, producing both male and bisexual flowers. The flowers are fragrant, white to whitish green, small, 0.5 cm across, and occur on numerous-flowered, 8–16 cm long flower shoots that are inserted at the leaf axils.
      Fruits: It produces fruits with a stony core that are green when unripe, yellow or red when ripe, flattened-egg-shaped, 3.5–7 wide long by 2–5.5 cm wide. 2 narrow wings, up to 3 mm wide, can be found along the side of the fruit. Each fruit contains 1 seed.
      Similar :
      Easily mistaken for Fagraea crenulata (Cabbage Tree), which has a similar shape and foliage, and is also a wayside tree. However, the Cabbage Tree is not deciduous and has larger, more obovate leaves, thorny branches, as well as deeply furrowed bark.
      Associated Fauna :
      The fruits are attractive to bats which also help with seed dispersal.
      Etymology :
      Latin Terminalia, refers to the plant’s leaves that are clustered at the end of end of the twigs, Lation catappa, derived from its Malay name, ketapang
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
      Food (Fruit & Vegetable: The kernel has a flavour similar to almonds, hence the common name. )
      Medicinal (The leaves are also used as a topical treatment for rheumatic joints (in Indonesia and India), a decoction of the bark is used as a treatment for dysentery (Southeast Asia).)
      [Others]: The leaves and bark are used in tanning and dyeing. 
  • Landscaping Features
    • Landscaping :
      It is suitable as a roadside tree, as it is coastal plant, which can tolerate hot sun, dry and high wind condition. It is attractive as its plant shape is similar to a pagoda, and its leaves will turn red before falling.
      Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Form
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Dry Soils / Drought, Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray
      Landscape Uses :
      General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Coastal, Beachfront / Shoreline
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Associated Fauna :
      Bat Food
      Pollination Method(s) :
      Biotic (Fauna)
      Seed / Spore Dispersal :
      Biotic (Fauna), Abiotic
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun, Semi-Shade
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water
      Plant Growth Rate :
      Propagation Method :
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Drought / Semi-Deciduous
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Papery, Leathery, Thin
      Foliar Type :
      Simple / Unifoliate
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Foliar Attachment to Stem :
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate)
      Foliar Venation :
      Pinnate / Net
      Foliar Margin :
      Leaf Area Index (LAI) * for Green Plot Ratio :
      3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Unisexual & Bisexual Flowers(Sub-dioecious)
      Flower Colour(s) :
      Cream / Off-White, White
      Flower Grouping :
      Cluster / Inflorescence
      Flower Location :
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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