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Deciduous or semi-evergreen trees, trunk usually buttressed. Leaves alternate, subopposite or spirally arranged, often crowded at the ends of the branchlets, margin entire, or slightly crenulate or serrulate. Inflorescence in spikes, racemes or panicles. Flowers actinomorphic, 5-merous, rarely 4-merous, cupuliform.  Sepals 5, connate in a campanulate calyx, produced slightly beyond the ovary. Petal absent. Stamens 10, episepalous. Ovary 1-celled, ovules 2 or rarely 3, pendulous. Fruits angular or 2-5 winged.  Seed solitary.

Key to the species

Serial Key Reference
1a. Fruit drupaceous 2
1b. Fruit 2 or 5 winged nut 5
2a. Drupe densely velvety pubescent T. bellirica
2b. Drupe glabrous 3
3a. Drupe laterally compressed, ovoid to broadly ellipsoid, smooth. Branches whorled or spreading horizontally T. catappa
3b. Drupe not compressed, subglobose to ellipsoid 4
4a. Drupe subglobose, usually smooth; seed rough; leave brownish-pubescent at least on nerves beneath T. chebula
4b. Drupe ellipsoid, obscurely 5-angulate; seed 5-angled; leaves glabrous T. citrina
5a. Nuts 2 winged, smaller than 1.0 cm long T. myriocarpa
5b. Nuts 5 winged, more than 2.5 cm long 6
6a. Nut wings more than 2.0 cm broad; leaves usually pubescent beneath T .alata
6b. Nut less than 1.5 cm broad; leaves glabrous beneath T. arjuna