Online Manual for the Forest Tree Seeds of Kerala

A Kerala Forest Department Funded Project

Dr. K Sudhakara
Professor & Head of the Department
Dept. of Silviculture & Agroforestry
College of Forestry, Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur 680 656
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Scientific Name  Acrocarpus fraxinifolius Wt. & Arn.
Vernacular name  Kurungadi, Narivenga, Kurungan, Malakonna, Malaveppu (Malayalam) (Chacko et al., 2002, CSIR, 1948); Malankomrnao, Nelrai (Tamil) (Chacko et al., 2002); Kurungadi, Malaikonnei (Tamil) (CSIR, 1948); Mandania (Hindi and Bengali) (Bose et al., 1998).
Common name  Pink Cedar, Red cedar (Bose et al., 1998), Mundani, Shingle tree, Indian ash (Chacko et al., 2002).
Family  Leguminosae
Subfamily  Faboideae
Distribution  Distributed in Sikkim, W. Bengal, Assam, Western Ghats from South Kanara southward, Nilgiri, Palni. Anamalai hills in India; Bangladesh; Myanmar; Java (Bose et al., 1998).
Description  A lofty deciduous tree, reaching a height of up to 30 m with a clear bole 18 to 45 m. Usually buttressed at the base (CSIR, 1948).
Flowering season  November to January in South India (CSIR, 1948; Bose et al., 1998).
Fruiting season  April to June (CSIR, 1948; Khullar et al., 1991; Bose et al., 1998).
Flowers  Flowers dull red or orange on short pedicels in simple axillary dense racemes; calyx campanulate, teeth 5, equal; petals equal, slightly imbricate in bud; stamens 5 long exserted (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruits  Fruit is a pod, long stalked, flat, thin, oblong in shape. 12 cm x 2 cm, contains 10 seeds (Chacko et al., 2002).
Fruit type  Pod.
Seeds  Seeds brown, obovate, oblique and compressed (CSIR, 1948).
Seed length  8 mm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  1100 fruits /kg. 28,000 to 46,000 seeds /kg (FRI, 1983; Chacko et al., 2002). 32000 seeds/kg (Khullar et al., 1991).
Seed dispersal  Animals.
Seed Collection  Seeds mature during April-June (FRI, 1983), January-May (Chacko, et al., 2002). Collect mature brown pods before they open (Napier and Robbins, 1989; Chacko et al., 2002).
Transportation of seeds  The pods are collected in gunny bags or cotton bags and transported by ensuring air-circulation within the seed stack (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed processing  Dry the pods in the sun for 2-3 days and beat with sticks, to enable opening and dislodging of seeds (FRI, 1983; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed storage  Orthodox (Napier and Robbins, 1989); Intermediate (Kindt et al., 1997; Chacko et al., 2002). Seeds store well in gunny bags and air tight tins for 19 months. However, seeds stored for long are said to be liable to insect attact (FRI, 1983; Chacko et al., 2002).
Viability period  Seeds, stored in gunny bags or sealed tin, retain 50% viability at the end of 2 years and 17% viability at the end of 3 years (Dent, 1948; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed emptiness  Low (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed pre treatment  Concentrated sulphuric acid scarification for 10 mts followed by cold water soaking for 18 hrs (Rai, 1976; Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination type  Epigeous (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination percentage  75% (Khullar et al., 1991). Up to 90 (FRI, 1983; Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination period  4-21 days (Khullar et al., 1991). 3 to 14 days, for scarified seeds (Napier and Robbins, 1989; Chacko et al., 2002).
Nursery technique  Sow pre treated seeds in plastic trays filled with moist vermiculite. Seedlings are coated in polythene bags of size 22.5 cm x 17.5 cm when they have 3-4 leaves and maintained under shade (FRI, 1983; Chacko et al., 2002).
Method of propagation  By seeds.
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  Caterpillars of Eurenia blandia defoliate young plants (Ram Parkash et al., 1998). Xylosandrus compactus is causing death of seedlings and young saplings. Spraying with 0.05% monocrotophos in October-November give effective control (Meshram et al., 1993).
Diseases  Storage moulds like Aspergillus sp., Penicllium sp., and field fungi Botryodiplodia theobromae and Phoma sp. cause infestation (Mohanan and Sharma, 1991; Mohanan and Anil Chandran, 2001; Chacko et al., 2002).
Medicinal properties 
Uses  One of the largest trees of India. Wood is used for making furniture, rafters and also used for different structural works for small and medium spans. Uses include wood for packing cases, beehives, fuelwood, and (probably) foliage for fodder (Ghildyal, 1989).
Wood properties  The sapwood is yellowish or greyish white and the heartwood is light pinkish or reddish brown. The wood is moderately hard and moderately heavy with usually straight grain and coarse texture. The wood is lustrous, without characteristic odour, fairly durable (CSIR, 1948). Medullary rays are fine, and moderately broad, rather scanty, wavy (Gamble, 1922). The wood gives satisfactory bends of radius 100-175 mm in 13 and 25 mm thick strips when plasticized with ammonia at 5 kg/cm2 pressure (Pandey and Rao, 1995).
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