Sea Almond (Fijian: Tavola)

Terminalia catappa (Combretaceae)

Characteristics

Large deciduous tree, up to 35 m tall, with horizontal branches. Large, glossy dark green, leathery leaves (15-25 cm long, 10-15 cm broad). Corky light fruits (drupe), dispersed by water. Seed within the fruit is edible when fully ripe, tasting almost like almond (name: Sea almond). The trees are monoecious with distinct male and female flowers on the same tree.

Distribution

The tree has been spread widely by humans and the native region is uncertain. It is grown in tropical regions of the world as an ornamental tree, providing deep shade with its large leaves.

Natural Medical Properties

No known.

Did you know?

During dry-season, Sea almond trees lose their leaves (dry-season deciduous). Before falling, they turn pinkish-reddish or yellow-brown, due to pigments such as violaxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species