Description from Flora of China
Badamia commersonii Gaertner; Juglans catappa (Linnaeus) Loureiro; Myrobalanus catappa (Linnaeus) Kuntze; Terminalia catappa var. chlorocarpa Hasskarl; T. catappa var. macrocarpa Hasskarl; T. catappa var. rhodocarpa Hasskarl; T. catappa var. subcordata (Humboldt & Bonpland ex Willdenow) Candolle; T. intermedia Bertero ex Sprengel; T. latifolia Blanco (1837), not Swartz (1788); T. moluccana Lamarck; T. myrobalana Roth; T. ovatifolia Noronha; T. paraensis Martius; T. procera Roxburgh; T. rubrigemmis Tulasne; T. subcordata Humboldt & Bonpland ex Willdenow.
Trees to 20 m tall; trunk to 2 m d.b.h. Bark brownish black, longitudinally peeling. Branches spreading, forming tiers. Branchlets densely brownish yellow tomentose near apex, densely covered with conspicuous leaf scars. Leaves alternate, crowded into pseudowhorls at apices of branchlets; petiole 0.5-2 cm, stout, tomentose; leaf blade obovate to oblanceolate, narrowed in proximal half, 12-30 × 8-15 cm, both surfaces glabrous or abaxially sparsely softly hairy when young, base narrow, cordate or truncate, apex obtuse or mucronate; lateral veins in 10-12 pairs. Inflorescences axillary, simple, long, slender spikes, 15-20 cm, numerous flowered; axis shortly white tomentose. Flowers fragrant. Calyx tube distally cupular, 7-8 mm, abaxially white tomentose, densely so on ovary, sparsely so on cupular part, adaxially glabrous; lobes 5. Stamens 10, exserted, 2-3 mm. Fruit not stipitate, red or blackish green when ripe, ellipsoid, slightly to strongly compressed, strongly 2-ridged to narrowly 2-winged (wings to 3 mm wide), 3-5.5 × 2-3.5 cm, glabrous; pericarp woody, rigid. Fl. Mar-Jun, Oct, fr. May, Jul-Sep.
The fruit is edible.
Sandy seashores, beaches with humid climate, villages, grassy village commons, also cultivated as a roadside tree. Guangdong, Hainan, Taiwan (including Lan Yu), SE Yunnan [Bangladesh, Cambodia, India (including Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam; N Australia, Indian Ocean islands, Madagascar, Pacific islands; planted throughout the tropics as a shade tree].