Sea Almond

Common Name: Sea Almond, Malabar Almond, Indian Almond
Local Name: (Midhili) މިދިލި , (Gobu Gas) ގޮނބު ގަސް
Age: 8 years
Scientific Name: Terminalia Catappa / Terminalia Latifolia

Terminalia Catappa, commonly known as Sea Almond, Malabar Almond or Indian Almond, is a fast-growing deciduous or semi-evergreen tree, usually growing to about 20 to 30 metres tall. An important, multi-purpose tree, it provides food and medicine and is one of the most common trees found in the Maldives.

It is commonly grown as a shade tree, or for ornamentation and for its edible seeds or kernels (called Kanamadhu in Dhivehi, the local language). Sold in local markets, these kernels have significant commercial value as they are used in very popular local savoury dishes and baked goods.

The fruits of the Sea Almond have a tender skin and a thin layer of subacid juicy flesh. It is often fibrous and not very tasty despite the pleasant smell. The sweetish, fibrous flesh is palatable when very young,and is usually enjoyed by children, often eaten with Rihaakuru – a local fermented fish paste.

The leaf of the tree produces tannins which are used as dyes in some countries. It is also used in home aquariums to colour the water.

This species of plant can be found across Africa and Asia, from Madagascar to East Asia (China, India, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines), Papua New Guinea, Australia and the Pacific.

Scroll to Top