Terminalia bellirica

Red List status

Not assessed

Related spirits


India and Southeast Asia

A swift-growing giant canopy tree found mainly in the forests of North Western Ghats in India and throughout SE Asia, the Bibhitaki was brought to our attention through the innovative work of the FairWild Foundation (TRAFFIC). Promoting sustainable and legal collection of wild plant material through FairWild certification, the Bibhitaki tree produces a fruit traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine.

The tree is significantly the preferred nesting site of the iconic Great Hornbill. The Western Ghats region where the trees grows is one of the world’s leading biodiversity hotspots and is a World Unesco Site, yet has suffered significant environmental degradation through felling of forests to sustain local livelihoods.

There has been no global assessment to date of how many of this species there are growing in the wild. The Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF India) working with DICE and funded by the Darwin Initiative is counteracting this loss by establishing agro-forestry plots and nurseries to promote forest-based enterprise through initiatives like the FairWild certification scheme to restore habitat, counter climate change and build socially equitable businesses locally.

Jayant Sarnaik from AERF has given great support and seeds were sent to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden in March 2015.