Talisay Tree (Tropical Almond Tree) or (Umbrella Tree)
Known in the Philippines as “talisay”, the Tropical Almond Tree (Terminalia catappa) is a large, deciduous, and spreading tree, reaching around 20 to 25 meters height. Belonging to Combretaceae (leadwood tree) family, it grows mainly in the tropics especially along sandy seashores for shade, ornamental purposes, and edible nuts.
It has shiny and ovate leaves, 10-25 cm long, and tapering below to a narrow and heart-shaped base with an expanded rounded apex. Studies have indicated that the leaves of “talisay” are rich in tannins and a host of organic compounds that help in conditioning the culture water resulting in improved survival, growth, and health of cultured aquatic species.
Its leaves and bark have a wide range of medicinal uses, including diaphoretic, anti-indigestion, and anti-dysentery.
Flowers are white, small, and borne on spikes in the axils of the leaves, 6 to 18 centimeters long.
The fruit is smooth and ellipsoid, 3 to 6 centimeters long. The pericarp is fibrous and fleshy, the endocarp hard. During maturation, it changes color from green through yellow to bright red or dark purplish-red at full maturity.
Tropical almond is easily propagated from seed and is fast growing and flourishes with minimal maintenance in suitable environments. The species has traditionally been significant for coastal communities, providing a wide range of non-wood products and services.
Source: National Museum Eastern-Northern Mindanao via Thompson and Evans (2006)
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