by Swatee Jog
I’ve been frequenting Nana Shankar Seth Marg (Khade Bazar) since I was a kid as my father’s business is located there for decades. Last week, walking down the street, I noticed how green it looks with some superb foliage covering the entire stretch with its canopy. Most of these trees, I noticed, were the Indian Almond which bore thick large fruit that looked just like the actual almond which it is not. One can notice that SPM Road also flaunts these trees and so do many streets that have been newly decorated with plants. The tree grows fast, provides a rounded canopy that in turn gives shade and looks beautiful.
With the botanical name of Terminalia catappa, it is also known as country almond or false almond or Junglee badam in Marathi and is a tropical tree found in Asia, Africa and Australia. The tree has an upright bark with horizontal branches that form a round canopy as they grow. Currently, one can see the long whitish inflorescence growing from many trees. The fruits are ovoid, similar to the almond and taste similarly when ripe. One can find the tree being felled after a few days, especially at crowded places like schools, since it sheds its leaves thrice a year which can be quite a task to clean. Apparently, Brazil would grow this tree for the very reason that the leaves turn red before shedding and give a distinct ‘European’ feel to the streets until it was replaced by the native evergreen trees!
About the Author: Swatee Jog is a Training and Placement Officer at Bharatesh Global Business School, Belgaum.