From Common Forest Trees of Hawaii

India Almond
Terminalia catappa
Mangroves family (Combretaceae)

Post-Cook introduction

This tree from the East Indies is widely planted for shade, ornament, and nuts around the world, especially along tropical sandy seashores, and has become naturalized. It is characterized by horizontal branches in circles or tiers at different levels on the trunk, large leathery leaves broadest toward (), turning reddish before failing, and the slightly flattened greenish or reddish about 2 inches (5 ) long containing a large edible seed or nut inside the hard husk.

©2018 Zoya Akulova
Usually a small to medium-sized tree 30–50 ft (9–15 ) high and 1 ft (0.3 ) in trunk diameter, but sometimes much larger in diameter and with slight buttresses, except in areas with a marked dry season. Bark gray, smoothish, thin, becoming slightly fissured. Inner bark is pinkish brown, slightly bitter and astringent. Twigs brown, finely hairy when young, slender but swollen at leaf scars and

Leaves but are crowded near the ends of twigs, with stout finely brown hairy leaf-stalks of 3⁄8–3⁄4 inch (1–2 ). Blades 6–11 inches (15–28 ) long and 3 1⁄2–6 inches (9–15 ) broad, abruptly short-pointed or rounded at and gradually narrowed toward rounded base, not on edges, slightly thickened, upper surface shiny green or dark green and hairless, and lower surface paler and often finely brown hairy.

Flower clusters (narrow ) at leaf bases are 2–6 inches (5–15 ) long. Flowers numerous small greenish white, 3⁄16–1⁄4 inch (5–6 ) across, mostly shortstalked, with slightly unpleasant odor, mostly male and a few flowers near base (polygamous). Both kinds have a greenish white or light brown hairy with a cup-shaped tube and five or six pointed spreading 1⁄16 inch (1.5 ) long and bearing twice as many small near the base. and female flowers, which are stalkless, have a slender and a narrow tube () 3⁄16 inch (5 ) long, brownish green and finely hairy, resembling a stalk but containing the inferior single-celled

() are about 1 inch (2.5 ) broad, pointed, slightly flattened and with one or two narrowly winged edges, light brown at maturity. The thin outer layer is slightly sour and can be eaten. Inside the hard fibrous husk there is a light brown, thick hard stone containing an oily seed or nut about 1 1⁄4 inches (3 ) long and 3⁄8 inch (1 ) broad, somewhat like the true almond. Flowering and fruiting nearly through the year.

The heartwood is reddish brown when first cut, becoming pale brown with age and has a subdued figure imparted by dark banding at the terminus of each growth ring. The sapwood is lighter in color. The wood is hard, moderately heavy ( gr. 0.59), moderately strong, tough, medium to coarse-textured, and with and often interlocked grain. It is very susceptible to attack by dry-wood termites. Rate of air-seasoning is rapid, and the amount of degradation is moderate. Machining characteristics are as follows: plaining is very poor; shaping, boring, and mortising are fair; turning is poor; and sanding and resistance to screw splitting are good.

The wood has been used occasionally as a substitute of kamani (Calophyllum inophyllum), in Hawaii’s craftwood trade. However, it is considered inferior in appearance and is very susceptible to attack by lyctus and ambrosia beetles when stored in large pieces awaiting carving. Common uses elsewhere are for posts and fuel. This attractive wood if carefully handled in machining would be suitable for millwork, furniture, veneer, and cabinet work. It has been recommended for boatbuilding, general construction, bridge timbers, crossties, flooring, and boxes and crates.

The bark, roots, astringent green and leaves contain tannin and have been used in tanning. A black dye serving for ink has been obtained from bark, and foliage also. An oil has been extracted from the seeds.

This species is extensively planted and is naturalized along seashores, being hardy and salt tolerant, though reportedly not resistant to hurricanes or strong winds. It is an attractive roadside tree for its peculiar branching and reddish tinged old leaves and grows rapidly. Introduced very early in Hawaii, probably before 1800, and now naturalized at low altitudes, mainly near shores.

Special areas
Waimea Arboretum, Foster, lolani

Height 45 ft (13.7 ), c.b.h. 21.3 ft (6.5 ), spread 76 ft (23.2 ). Haili Church, Hilo, Hawaii (1968).

Native of East Indies and Oceania but planted and naturalized through the tropics, including southern Florida and Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands.

Other common names
kamani haole, kamani’ula, umbrella-tree (Hawaii); Indiaalmond (continental United States); almendro (Puerto Rico, Spanish); almond, West-Indian-almond (Virgin Islands); talisai (Guam, N. Marianas); miiche (Palau); kel (Yap); as (Truk); thipwopu (Pohnpei); srofaf (Kosrae); kotal (Marshalls); talie (Am. Samoa).

node -- The point at which there is attached growth, as in the place where each leaf is attached.

cm -- A centimeter which is about 0.4 inches.

Flowers with both stamens and pistils are bisexual. Also called "perfect flowers".

m -- A meter is about 10% larger than a yard.

style -- This is a long and thread-like structure that connects the stigma with the ovary. A flower may have a single style, or several of them.

The apex is the tip or the furthest point from the attachment.

alternate -- leaves alternate along the main stem and are attached singly.

Like the teeth on a saw, leaves and other surfaces can have toothed edges.

elliptic -- Oval, with no point or a very short point.

obovate -- Teardrop-shaped, stem attaches to tapering point.

A raceme is an unbranched, indeterminate type of inflorescence bearing flowers having short floral stalks along its axis.

An evergreen tree retains a large portion of its green leaves all year.

lobe -- Rounded parts of a leaf (or other organ). Lobes bulge out about 1/4 of the leaf diameter.

basal -- at the base, situated or attached at the base.

calyx -- the sepals of a flower, typically forming a whorl that encloses the petals and forms a protective layer around a flower in bud.

fruit -- any seed-bearing structure in flowering plants. It is formed from the ovary after flowering.

drupe -- A fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a hardened shell containing a seed. A peach is a drupe. A raspberry is composed of drupelets.

Irregular flowers, such as those of the violet or the pea, are often bilaterally symmeteric. These flowers typically have petals of unequal size or shape.

The hypanthium or floral cup is a cup-like structure formed by the fused bases of the stamens, petals, and sepals.

mm -- millimeter. About 1/25th of an inch.

sp. -- The abbreviation for "species". The plural is "spp". When used it sometimes means that the exact species is unknown. For example, "Aster sp" would mean some species within the Aster genus but the writer may not know exactly which species.

stamen -- the pollen-producing reproductive organ of a flower; The stamen consists of an anther supported by a filament.

An ovary is a part of the female reproductive organ of the flower. Above the ovary is the style and the stigma, which is where the pollen lands and germinates to grow down through the style to the ovary.