Terminalia arjuna

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                      Tectona grandis Linnaeus f., Suppl. Pl. 151. 1781. 


Nomenclature and Taxonomy

Terminalia arjuna is commonly known as white marudah, Tropical almond, Arjun, Malabar almond, and Arjuna in English [1] but in Nepali it called Arjun. [2] It belongs to family Combretaceae and is given with synonyms Pentaptera arjuna Roxb. ex DC.; Terminalia glabra Wt. & Arn.; Terminalia urjan Royle. [3]

Plant Description

Terminalia arjuna is a large tree, up to 6-15 (-25) m tall with smooth, pale greenish to whitish grey bark. Leaves are usually subopposite, oblong-elliptic or somewhat sub-orbicular, 7-18 (-25) cm long, 4-6 cm broad, obtuse, rarely subacute with rounded or cordate base, glabrous to subglabrous above, partially pubescent beneath, entire somewhat crenate or serrate in the upper half or throughout, petiole 5-10 mm long with 2 (-1) rounded glands at the apex. Inflorescence is axillary or terminal paniculate spikes, 3-6 cm long, 1 cm broad. Bracteole is small, deciduous, linear lanceolate. Flowers are yellowish white, sessile. Hypanthium is broadly campanulate, 4-5 mm long, teeth triangular c. 15 mm long, glabrous. Stamens are much exserted. Ovary is glabrous; disc is barbate. Fruit is ovoid-oblong, 2.5-5 cm long, brown with 5 project¬ing wings, wings are striated with 5 ascending veins. [3]

Ecology and Distribution

Terminalia arjuna is native to India and Sri Lanka; is exotic to Bangladesh, China, Cuba, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand. It grows naturally along banks of streams and rivers and seasonally dry water courses at low elevations at 0 - 1200 m; it is charecteristic component of dry tropical riverine forests and tropical moist and dry deciduous forests. [1]

Phenology and Reproduction

Terminalia arjuna flowers in April to May and fruits ripen in the following February to May. [1]

Conservation Status

Economic Value

Terminalia arjuna is important for fuel, fodder, medicine, timber, tannin and dyestuff. It provides excellent charcoal and firewood with high calorific value. Leaves are fed to silkworm and livestock in India.Its bark, stem, and leaves are medicinally used. Heartwood is dark-brown, very hard, lustrous, strong and heavy; is used for carts, agricultural implements, water troughs, traps, boat building, house building, electric poles, tool-handles and jetty-piles. Still the bark and fruits are used as tannin or dyestuff. [1]

Phytochemistry and Pharmacology

Bark of Terminalia arjuna is acrid, an astringent and tonic, and is useful in treatment of high blood pressure and ulcers. It is also used as alexiteric, styptic, tonic and anthelmintic and is useful in fractures, inflammation and wounds and ulcers.

Bark of Terminalia arjuna exhibits anti-hyperglycemic and anti-diabetic effects and contains tannin, alkaloid, triterpenoid, flavonoid, phytosteroids and saponin. [4]

Diseases and Pathogens


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Orwa, C., Mutua, A., Kindt, R., Jamnadass, R., Anthony, S. (2009). Terminalia arjuna (Roxb. ex DC) Wight & Arn. Agroforestree Database:a tree reference and selection guide version 4.0 Retrieved from http://www.worldagroforestry.org/treedb/AFTPDFS/Terminalia_arjuna.PDF
  2. Manandhar, N. P.(2002). Plants and People of Nepal. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon, USA. p.453
  3. 3.0 3.1 Flora of Pakistan. (2015). Terminalia arjuna (Roxb. ex DC.) Wight & Arm, Prodr. 314. 1834. Clarke in Hook.f.,l.c.447; Dalz. & Gibson, Bomb. Fl.91.1861; Cooke. l.c.509.; Parker l.c., 240., R.R.Stewart, l.c. Retrieved from http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=242414475 on April 24, 2015.
  4. Kumar, C., Kumar, R. & Nehar, S. (2013). Phytochemical properties, total antioxidant status of acetone and methanol extract of Terminalia arjuna Roxb. bark and its hypoglycemic effect on Type-II diabetic albino rats. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, 2(1), 199 - 208. Online at [1]