Monday, March 3, 2008

Sea Almond Tree

The Sea Almond Tree (Terminalia catappa) is among the most common trees in our region, growing wild as well as cultivated as a popular wayside tree.
During the dry season, the leaves turn into autumn colours of red, copper, gold. The tree usually sheds all its leaves twice a year. The best place to enjoy this autumn sensation in Singapore is Changi Coast Road where sea almond tree are planted at both side of the road.
If you catch the right time, the whole floor will be covered by the red colour sea almond tree's leaves. Really an autumn feeling! The photo above was taken at Pulau Hantu (one of the interesting southern island of Singapore)
When riped, the green almond-shaped fruit will turns red to purple when. The seeds are dispersed by water. The nuts are edible raw and taste like almonds hence got the common name. Oil extracted from the dried nuts is edible and used in cooking in some countries.
The kernels, bark and leaves of the tree are used in many countries from South American to southeast Asia to treat many kind of sickness such as bleeding from tooth extraction, colic, cough, diarrhea, headache, intestinal parasites, rheumatism, skin diseases, stomach upsets, throat problems and wounds.
The sea almond leaves are used widely in aquarium to produce 'black water' and act as anti-bacteria and eliminate pathogens, ectoparasites and egg fungal infections tropical fish. When put in water, the leaves will release organic acids like humic and tannins to lower the pH, help to absorb harmful chemicals and thus create a soothing and calm environment for the fish. There are some smart people even sell the leaves on eBay!

No comments:

Post a Comment