Distribution and botany

Terminalia belerica (Gaertn.) Roxb. (Family Combertaceae), is popularly known as Belleric myrobalan. It is found growing wild throughout the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka and SE Asia, up to 1200 meters in elevation, in a wide variety of ecologies.

It is a large deciduous tree with a buttressed trunk, a thick brownish-gray bark with shallow longitudinal fissures, attaining a height of between 20 and 30 meters. The leaves are crowded around the ends of the branches, alternately arranged, margins entire, elliptic to elliptic-obovate, rounded tip or subacute, midrib prominent, pubescent when young and becoming glabrous with maturity. The flowers are pale greenish yellow with an offensive odor, borne in axillary spikes longer than the petioles but shorter than the leaves. The fruits are ovoid drupes, gray in color, containing a kernel within.

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