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TERMINALIA CATAPPA

Common name:
False kamani, almendras, badamier, Java almond, amandier de Cayenne, tropical almond, wild almond, Indian almond, myrobalan, Malabar almond, Singapore almond, ketapang, Huu kwang, Sea almond, kobateishi, West Indian almond, amandel huu kwang.
Family:
Combretaceae (Combretum family).

Overview
This tree thrives as an ornamental tree in many tropical cities in the world.
Tropical almond is a large deciduous stately tree, originally from India, growing up to 90 feet tall with horizontal whorls of branches offering clusters of foot long; obviate leaves that turn pink-red to red – yellow before falling.
Some of the pigments responsible for this are: violaxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin.
There are also flavonoids present such as quercetin and kamferol.
The leaves contain also tannins (s. a. punicalin, punicalagin and tercatein).
The greenish – white female – and male flowers are on the same tree; these flowers are inconspicuous and not very showy.
It has large (2 – 3 inches) nutty fruits that taste very much like commercially grown almonds.
The color of the oval fruit is green, yellow or reddish.
In Taiwan the fallen leaves of tropical almond are used as an herbal drug in the treatment of liver related diseases.
The leaves contain agents for chemo-prevention of cancer and probably have anticarciogenic potential.
They also have an anticlastogenic effect (a process which causes breaks in chromosomes) due to their antioxidant properties.
The kernel of Indian almond has shown aphrodisiac activity; it can probably be used in treatment of some forms of sexual inadequacies (premature ejaculation).
Ethanol extract of the leaves shown potential in the treatment of sickle cell disorders.

Tropical almond is also used by breeders of tropical aquarium fishes to keep them healthy.
These include bettas, catfishes and black water tetras.
Since tropical almond has antibacterial properties, it is excellent in this regard.
Suriname’s traditional medicine
A tea from the leaves is used against dysentery and diarrhea.
Propagation
Seeds.
Due to recalcitrant nature of the seeds, they have a short viable life, can not be dried well and can not withstand low temperatures.
Culture
Full sun, moist, well drained soil.
Has salt and drought tolerance.
Plant in frost free areas.
As is the case with many tropical trees, tropical almond can be grown in a container where its size can be controlled for many years!

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