Girish Mahajan

Terminalia ferdinandiana

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Kingdom  Plantae
Family  Combretaceae
Scientific name  Terminalia ferdinandiana
Rank  Species
Order  Myrtales
Genus  Terminalia
Higher classification  Tropical almond
Terminalia ferdinandiana Australian Seed TERMINALIA ferdinandiana
Similar  Camu camu, Tropical almond, Santalum acuminatum, Desert Lime, Lemon myrtle

Terminalia ferdinandiana, also called the gubinge, billygoat plum, Kakadu plum or murunga, is a flowering plant in the family Combretaceae, native to Australia, widespread throughout the tropical woodlands from northwestern Australia to eastern Arnhem Land. It has a high concentration of vitamin C in its fruit: recorded concentrations of 2300–3150 mg/100 g wet weight and occasionally as high as 5300 mg/100 g, compared with 50 mg/100 g for oranges, ranks among the highest known of any natural source.

Contents

Terminalia ferdinandiana Australian Seed TERMINALIA ferdinandiana

It should not be confused with Planchonia careya, with which it shares some common names.

Description

Terminalia ferdinandiana Terminalia ferdinandiana northwestplants

Terminalia ferdinandiana is a slender, small to medium-sized tree growing up to 14 m (46 ft) in height, with creamy-grey, flaky bark and deciduous pale green leaves. The flowers are small, creamy-white, perfumed, and borne along spikes in the leaf axils towards the ends of the branches. Flowering is from September to December. (Southern hemisphere spring/summer.)

Terminalia ferdinandiana Terminalia ferdinandiana northwestplants

The fruit is yellow-green, about 2 cm (0.79 in) long and 1 cm (0.39 in) in diameter, almond-sized with a short beak at the tip, and contain one large seed. They ripen from March onwards.

Uses

Terminalia ferdinandiana Terminalia ferdinandiana Gubinge Society for Kimberley

The fruit, now commonly known as Kakadu plum or billygoat plum, is used as bush tucker by Australian Aboriginal people. The roundish, light green fruits are usually eaten raw, although they can also be made into a jam.

Terminalia ferdinandiana kakaduplum Terminalia ferdinandiana

While the fruits have been cultivated and some harvests are now supplying market demand, the vitamin C levels tend to fall with the less harsh growing conditions compared to wild trees.

Terminalia ferdinandiana cdn2stylecrazecomwpcontentuploads201309491

Due to safety concerns, Kakadu plum concentrate was refused for use as a New Dietary Ingredient product by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Folk medicine

Terminalia ferdinandiana Terminalia ferdinandiana Gubinge Society for Kimberley

T. ferdinandiana was used as a traditional medicine for the treatment of numerous ailments. The fruits were eaten by Australian Aboriginal people on long treks or hunting trips and were considered more valuable as a medicine rather than as a food. The inner bark of the tree was used to treat a variety of skin disorders and infections including wounds, sores and boils. A recent study has reported on the antibacterial activity of T. ferdinandiana.

Terminalia ferdinandiana kakaduplum Terminalia ferdinandiana

References

Terminalia ferdinandiana Wikipedia


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