Saturday, April 2, 2011

Almond Trees in South India -

2nd April, 2011
The Indian Badam tree is very interesting to observe as its leaves change colour from Green to Red and it is really a beautiful tree with large leaves that gives much shade. It is noteworthy to find Almond Trees (Indian Badam) being planted in many places where it essentially is for giving shade -not the fruit or seed.

I observed a Badam Tree on Marina Beach (at a Govt Office premise) in Jan-March daily and was amazed to see the colours of the leaves change from Green to orange to Red and few other shades too.  I learnt they grow well on  sandy soil and on costline too- See pics taken.

In my travels, I have seen them planted  at the most unusual places and growing nicely-inc. at Railway stations, on a Sea shore, at a housing colony entrance.
Some of the photos taken are attached below-
My knowledge of this tree is very limited and so I have added in comments section data from two reliable sources-with all credit to them.

 Almond Trees at Fort Kochi --on sea shore 

 Almond Trees at Kanhangad Railway station-platform.
 Almond Trees at Kanhangad Railway station-platform.
 Almond Trees at Kanhangad Railway station-platform.

Almond Tree at entrance of Saraswat Colony-Santa Cruz West, Mumbai platform.


  1. Data from

    Indian almond tree is a vital Indian Medicinal Plant. This plant is generally an evergreen or briefly deciduous tree depending on locality. It is about 10-35 meter tall, with smooth grey bark and whorled branches. The young branches of the Indian almond tree is densely yellow-brown pubescent. The leaves are about 13 to 22 centimeter long and 7 to 12 centimeters wide. All leaves are spirally arranged or clustered at the ends of branches with obovate or elliptic-ovate shape. The leaves of this Indian medicinal plant are found narrowing below the middle into a narrow sub-cordate base and bear dark-coloured, sessile gland on each side of the midrib. They are finely tomentose when young and become somewhat glossy when mature. There are 9 to 11 pairs of veins and the petioles are 0.5-1 centimeter long. Indian almond tree has bracts ovate within 0.5 to 0.6 millimeter long.

    Flowers of this Indian Medicinal Plant are sessile and white in colour. All the flowers are in axillary spikes with 5 to14 centimeter long with a predominance of male flowers and a few female or hermaphrodite flowers usually only at the base. The bracts are minute and calyx-teeth are glabrous or nearly so within and without. Each fruit is about 3.5-5.5 centimeter long and 2.5 centimeter or more wide. All fruits in the Indian almond tree are ellipsoid or ovoid in shape. They are laterally more or less compressed and often ringed by a rigid wing which is 2 millimeter broad.

    Indian almond tree is a native tree to coastal forests on sandy soils in India. The Indian medicinal plant is cultivated in many parts of tropical India as an ornamental tree and for its nutritious fruits. This Indian medicinal plant has great Ayurvedic properties. The fruit is considered as a cooling agent. Each fruit is aphrodisiac and astringent to the bowels and is used to treat biliousness and bronchitis. The seed of the Indian almond tree is edible and contains oil which is used medicinally for true almond oil. The leaves act as a sudorific and are applied to relieve rheumatic joint pain. The juice of the young leaves is used in southern India to prepare an ointment for treating scabies, leprosy and other skin diseases. This juice has great medicinal value and can be taken internally, it is said to be useful for treating colic and headache. The tannin from the leaves and bark is used as an astringent for treating dysentery. This Indian medicinal plant, Indian almond tree is regarded has properties such as diuretic and car-diotonic, and is applied externally on skin eruptions. The bark and leaves, and sometimes the roots and green fruits, are used for tanning leather, dyeing cloth, and for making ink.

    (Last Updated on : 11/10/2010)

  2. INDIAN ALMOND TREE, Terminalia catappa

    Also known as the Sea Almond or Tropical Almond, this Almond tree is among one of the most common trees throughout India, Malaysia and many other parts of SE Asia, growing wild as well as cultivated for its striking features as well as its tasty nut.

    This tree has a characteristic pagoda shape because it sends out a single stem from the top centre. When the single stem reaches a good height, it sends out several horizontal branches. It can get very large reaching 30m in ideal conditions.

    A decidious tree it can shed its leaves twice a year. In Autumn the leaves turn into colours of red, copper, gold. The tree first drops its leaves when it reaches 3-4 years old. The grey fissured, flaky but not ridged.

    The fruits are almond-shaped and green turning brown to purple when ripe. The fibrous shell surrounds an edible nut. This shell helps the fruit to float as the seed is dispersed by water.

    The nuts are edible, taste very much like almonds although it can be a challenge to remove the flesh from the hard stone. Unlike the commercial almond, the Sea Almond can be eaten raw. Oil extracted from the dried nuts is edible and used in cooking (South America).