Malabar almond

Malabar almond or Indian almond . Large tropical tree, within the combretaceae family . It is native to the Malayan region , cultivated in Cuba as ornamental and for shade, its bark and fruits are used for medicinal purposes.


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  • 1 Taxonomy
    • 1 Scientific name
      • 1.1 Authors
    • 2 Combinations for this basonym
    • 3 Synonymy
    • 4 Common name
  • 2 Origin and distribution
    • 1 In Cuba
  • 3 Botanical description
    • 1 Stems
    • 2 Sheets
    • 3 Flower
    • 4 fruits
      • 4.1 Composition of the fruit
    • 4 Applications
    • 5 Form of employment
    • 6 Parts of the plant to use
    • 7 References
    • 8 Sources


Scientific name

  • Terminalia catappa L.

Terminalia catappa

[1] [2] [3] [4]


  • Linnaeus, Carl von
  • Posted in: Mantissa Plantarum 1: 128. 1767. (15-31 Oct 1767 ) [5]

Combinations for this basonym

  • Buceras catappa (L.) Hitchc.
  • Juglans catappa (L.) Lour.
  • Myrobalanus catappa (L.) Kuntze [6]


  • Badamia commersonii Gaertn.


  • Catappa domestica Rumph.
  • Juglans catappa (L.) Lour.
  • Myrobalanus catappa (L.) Kuntze
  • Terminalia badamia DC.
  • Terminalia badamia sensu Tul.
  • Terminalia catappa var. Hassk chlorocarpa.
  • Terminalia catappa var. Hassk macrocarp.
  • Terminalia catappa var. rhodocarpa Hassk.
  • Terminalia catappa var. subcordata (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) DC.
  • Terminalia intermedia Bertero ex Spreng.
  • Terminalia latifolia White
  • Terminalia moluccana Lam.
  • Terminalia myrobalana Roth
  • Terminalia ovatifolia Noronha
  • Terminalia paraensis Mart.
  • Terminalia procera Roxb.
  • Terminalia rubrigemmis Tul.
  • Terminalia subcordata Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd. [7]
  • Buceras catappa (L.) Hitchc.
  • Myrobalanus terminalia Poir. [8]

Common name

Malabar almond, Indian almond, almond from the tropics, almond, almond, almond or false kamani.

Origin and distribution


This plant is native to the Malayan region . It is distributed in the Caribbean, North America and Oceania. It is cultivated in Cuba , it is spontaneous in many places, it is specially adapted to the vicinity of the sea. It is cultivated for the same purposes in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands , Florida and tropical America .

In Cuba

Tree quite widespread throughout Cuba , very common in green areas. The almond contained inside its fruits is edible and some people also consume the mesocarp of the ripe fruits. [9]

Botanical description



Tree up to 24 m tall, with a trunk diameter of 1.5 m, usually much smaller, branches spread out, arranged in whorls, strong twigs, hairless, bark superficially cracked



Alternate, whole, broad leaves, piled at the ends of the twigs, ovobated or broadly oblanceolate, 1 to 8 dm long, shortly petioled, hairless, rounded or not very pointed at the apex. Its color is dark green that before falling changes the color to reddish pink or brownish yellow.



Inflorescence in thin spikes, multiflora, 5 to 15 centimeters long.


Fruit, an ellipsoid drupe, compressed, hairless on 2 edges, pointed, 4 to 7 cm long; seeds 3 to 4 cm long.

Composition of the fruit

  • 20% tannin
  • The seed up to 51.2% of fatty oil (catappa oil) with 54% of oleinand 46% of palmitin


The fruits are edible and the plant is used in Mexico for its astringent and tonic properties. In Cuba, the crushed leaves are used in baths against itchy skin, and the bark against eruptions, leaf cooking and the fruit is used against hemoptysis. In Colombia, fruits and bark are used as febrifuges and against diarrhea and bronchial asthma . The seeds are very oleaginous and can be used to prepare an emulsion used as a daily drink, in diseases of the lung and abdominal viscera.

Form of employment

It is used in the form of ointment and in decoctions.


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