You saw it many times, relaxing on the Manuel Antonio’s beach, or walking at Parador Nahomi, the beach almond tree is very recognizable & beautiful.
From its scientific name “Terminalia catappa”, the beach almond tree is a common, & always green found exclusively along the sandy coastline. It is an introduced specie native to India that grows wild along many Costa Rican beaches. The tannins that are released from the foliage of the almond tree & fall to the ground, prevent the development of other plants under this tree. The wind, the sun and the salt of the sea cannot damage this robust tree.
The beach almond tree is not found inside the forest because the darkness of the undergrowth does not seem to allow its survival. The flowers are pollinated by many insects. The “almond” of the tree that has little to do with almonds, as we know them. They are edible to humans, both in flesh and seed. Depending on the tree, the taste may vary and there are trees with excellent almonds. Experts see great potential for the development of an important food source for humans. The various macaws already use it as an important source of food, but also the two toed sloths, bats & squirrels. In Manuel Antonio it is a common tree to be able to observe the two-toed sloths resting during the day.
The beach almond seems to have also medical benefits: The leaves have anti-inflammatory and antibiotic effects, scientifically proven.
Now you know everything about this majestic tree, you may think of it differently while enjoying being in its shadow at the beach!