Location in BHU campus :Planted in Botanical garden and as a roadside tree near Old Medical Enclave.
Botanical name : Terminalia chebula (Gaertn.)Retz
Family : Combretaceae
Vernacular / local Name : Assam-Kilikha; Bengali- Haritaki; Gujarati- Hardo; Hindi & Sanskrit- Harra; Marathi-Hirda; Oriya-Haridra; Punjabi-Har, Harar; Tamil- Kadukkai; Telugu-Karakkai.
English /Trade names : Chebulic Myrobalan,Gall nut
A medium-sized tree,15-20 m in height, with a cylindrical bole of 4-9 m. Crown rounded. Leaves ovate or elliptic with a pair of large glands at the tip of the petiole. Flowers ca 4 mm across, yellowish white, in terminal often panicled spikes. Fruit 2-4 cm long, obovoid or ovoid,5 ribbed, hard when ripe.
The tree is highly esteemed by the Hindu and a mythological origin has been assigned to it. It is said that when Indra was drinking nector in heaven a drop of the fluid fell on the earth and produced haritake. It has also received the names of ‘pranada’ or life giver, ‘Sudha’or nectar, ‘Bhishakpriya’or physician’s favourite.
Fruits are rich source of tannin and used for dyeing leather,wool and cotton; they are also used in medicines as laxative and as tonic. They form one of the constituents of ‘triphala’ an important Ayurvedic medicine used for several ailments. Timber is used for construction work, carts, tool-handles, etc.Wild herbivores feed on the fallen fruits.