Terminalia chebula, Retz.

Family: Combretaceae

Common Name : Harra

Telugu Name : Karaka

General :

The tree is found mostly in mixed dry deciduous forests. It is capable of growing on different type of soils, but is attains best development on loose well drained soils, such as sandy loam as well as clayey loam. Identified by dark brown bark exfoliating in irregular woody scales and presence of pair of large glands at the top of the petiole.

Flowering :

Spikes of greenish white flowers appear from April-June.

Fruiting :

Fruits ripen from Janaury-March and fall soon after ripening.

Morphology of the Fruit/Seed :

The ovoid, yellow to orange brown fruits are 2.5 to 4.0 cms long. Usually 5-angled when dry. Stone very thick, bony, obscurely angled, rough, grooved, having gum vessels on the wall.

Seed Collection and Storage :

Generally two good years are followed by one or two poor ones. Fruits are collected when they turn yellow. The seeds can be collected as soon as they fall on the ground, and are dried under shade. The seeds can be stored in gunny bags for one year but fresh seeds germinate quicker.

Seed Biology :

No. of fruits per Kg.

Germination percentage

Plant percent

No. of seedlings per Kg. of fruit

Period of germination in days

171 to 220



290 to 320

15 to 30


The deputed seeds should be either treated by fermentation process for a period of 15 to 20 days, or the seeds may be clipped at its broad end and then soaked in water for a period of 2 days and then sown in nursery beds.

Nursery Technique :

Pregerminated seeds are put in polythene bags of bigger size (at least 15" X 9".) since the root growth is comparatively faster. The nursery should be shaded against the sun. There appears to be some correlation between maximum tannin content of the fruit and the optimum germinative capacity. Growth of the seedling is slow.