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Jamaican Harmon (Terminalia catappa)


Harmon, as it is called in Jamaica is known by other names, Indian almond, tropical almond, sea almond, West Indian almond, Malabar almond. The seeds are 5 cm or more long and 2.5 cm across, green turning red, yellow, or brown at maturity. At the side of each fruit is a curved spike longer than the fruit. The fleshy fibrous pulp surrounding the large seed is edible and very sweet when the fruits are very young and the almond-shaped and flavoured seed is edible at maturity


A hardy, quick-growing, easily propagated tree, Terminalia catappa grows well in coastal sand dunes and other problem sites. Its wood is used for fuel in several tropical areas. It is a medium-sized tree, with peculiar whorls of horizontal branches stacked one about the other up the trunk, which is usually quite short and crooked.

 Terminalia catappa leaf

As it ages, its attractive appearance is enhanced by large, reddish-tinged, leathery leaves.

green harmon

Ripe harmon

Eat the skin of the ripe harmon

ripe harmon

harmon nuts

It bears hard fruits, somewhat similar to greenish almonds, each containing a large, edible nut. The seeds are sweet, almond-like, and widely eaten roasted or raw.  It is primarily a coastal tree and commonly forms beach forests extending from sandy shores into forests behind.


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