The Amla tree, also known as Indian gooseberry, is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree that is native to India. It is known for its tart, vitamin C-rich fruit, which has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries.

Tree CharacteristicsDescription
Common NameAmla or Indian gooseberry
Scientific namePhyllanthus emblica
Maximum height8-18 meters
Diameter when mature12-18 inches
Years to grow5-7 years for commercial production
Economic benefitUsed for medicinal and culinary purposes; rich in Vitamin C, antioxidants and minerals. Can be grown as an agroforestry crop to provide additional income to farmers.

Physical Characteristics

The Amla tree can grow up to a height of 8-18 meters and has a crooked trunk with a light brown bark that flakes off in patches. The leaves are small and light green in color, and the tree produces fragrant flowers that are greenish-yellow in color. The fruit of the tree is small, round, and greenish-yellow in color with a hard seed inside.

Ecological Role

The Amla tree plays an important ecological role in India. It is known for its ability to tolerate drought and saline conditions, making it a useful species for stabilizing soils in areas prone to erosion. The tree is also an important source of food for a variety of wildlife, including birds and insects.

Importance to Birds, Animals, and Insects

The Amla fruit is an important source of food for a variety of wildlife, including birds, monkeys, and squirrels. The tree also attracts a variety of insects, including bees, butterflies, and moths.

States in India Where the Tree is Found Naturally

The Amla tree is found naturally in many states in India, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.

States Where it is Commercially Grown

The Amla tree is commercially grown in many states in India, including Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.

Commercial Growing of Tree

The Amla tree is grown commercially for its fruit, which is used for a variety of culinary purposes, including pickling, juicing, and making jams and chutneys. The tree is also used for its medicinal properties, as various parts of the tree have been used in traditional medicine for centuries.

Different Stages of Tree Growth in Details

The Amla tree goes through several stages of growth, including seed germination, seedling growth, and maturation. The seedlings are transplanted into the field after they have developed two to three leaves. The tree starts producing fruit after four to five years, and the fruit harvesting season typically occurs between October and February.

How Farmers are Benefited by Growing

Farmers can benefit from growing the Amla tree under agroforestry by increasing their income through the sale of the fruit and other products derived from the tree. The tree also helps to improve soil fertility, reduce soil erosion, and provide shade and shelter for other crops, making it an ideal species for intercropping.


The Amla fruit is harvested by hand when it is fully ripe. The fruit is then sorted, graded, and packaged for sale.

Difference Between Amla and Rai Amla 

Amla and Rai Amla are two different fruits that are commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. The list of differences is as follows. 

Botanical Name: Amla, also known as Indian Gooseberry, is scientifically known as Emblica Officinalis, while Rai Amla is scientifically known as Phyllanthus Niruri.

Appearance: Amla is a small, round, greenish-yellow fruit with a smooth texture, while Rai Amla is a tiny fruit that grows on a small shrub and has a slightly rough texture.

Taste: Amla has a sour and astringent taste, while Rai Amla has a slightly bitter taste.

Nutritional Value: Amla is a rich source of vitamin C, antioxidants, and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, while Rai Amla is also rich in antioxidants and has been traditionally used for its liver-protective properties.

Medicinal Properties: Both Amla and Rai Amla are known for their medicinal properties in Ayurveda. Amla is considered to be a rejuvenating herb that supports digestion, strengthens the immune system, and helps to lower cholesterol. Rai Amla is traditionally used for its liver-protective properties, to support the urinary system and to help improve digestion.


The Amla tree is an important species in India, both ecologically and economically. It provides food and habitat for a variety of wildlife, and its fruit is used for a variety of culinary and medicinal purposes. The tree is also an important species for agroforestry, helping to improve soil fertility and reduce soil erosion. Its cultivation and commercialization have the potential to improve the livelihoods of farmers and promote sustainable agriculture.

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