Terminalia chebula Retz.
Synonym : Terminalia parviflora Thwaites
Family : Combretaceae
Local Names : Kadukka, Pulicakku, Gallnut, Black myrobalan
Flowering and fruiting period: February – August
Distribution: South Asia
Habitat: Dry and moist deciduous forests
IUCN status: Data Deficient
Uses: Seed - eaten as a snack. Edible oil is obtained from the seed. Black myrobalan is of central importance to Ayurvedic medicine. It has long been considered a prime remedy for all manner of digestive problems and is sacred to Siva. The sour fruits are a major ingredient of 'triphala', a rejuvenative, laxative tonic based on this species plus the fruits of Phyllanthus emblica and Terminalia bellireca. It is also an ingredient of 'amrit kalash', another famous Ayurvedic tonic formula. The flowers give a yellow dye, used for painting yellow and green details on calicos.
Key Characters: Deciduous trees, to 25 m high, bark surface dark brown to black. Leaves simple, opposite to alternate; lamina ovate, elliptic, obovate, margin entire. Flowers bisexual, greenish-white, in terminal and axillary spikes with offensive smell; calyx tube villous, constricted above the ovary, lobes 5, creamy; petals 0; stamens 10 in 2 rows; ovary inferior, 1-celled. Fruit a drupe, obovoid, woody, greenish-yellow; seed one.