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  Kydia calycina Roxb.
Vernacular name  Vellachadachi (Malayalam); Vattakannu, Vendai (Tamil); Bellaka, Bendi (Kannada) (Chacko et al.,2002); Patha, Puli, Pula (Hindi) (Troup, 1921)
Common name  Kydia (Chacko et al., 2002)
Synonyms  Kydia fraterna Roxb.; Kydia roxburgiana Wight (Chacko et al., 2002)
Family  Malvaceae
Distribution  Common throughtout India and Myanmar in mixed deciduous forests. In Kerala, it occurs in moist deciduous forests up to 900 m (Chacko et al., 2002)
Description  Attaining a height of 12 m or often more; branchlets and inflorescence grey-tomentose (Bose et al., 1998). Moderately fast growing, small to medium sized deciduous tree reaching a height of 18 m and breast height diameter of 25.5 cm (Chacko et al., 2002). Moderate sized deciduous tree (Troup, 1921)
Flowering season  September to November. September to October (Troup, 1921)
Fruiting season  November to February, December to April (Sen Gupta, 1937; Chacko et al., 2002). January to late March (Troup, 1921)
Flowers  Flowers in axillary or terminal panicle, greenish white or pink in colour and they are numerous. Flowers white, in terminal paniculate cymes, polygamous, 1.5 cm across; epicalyx segments 4-6; petals obo- vate, emarginate, fimbriate, clawed; pistillode absent in male flowers; ovary 2- or 3-celled; ovules 1 or 2 per cell; staminodes absent in female flowers (Bose et al., 1998)
Fruits  Fruit is a capsule, small and globose
Fruit type  Capsule
Seeds  The greyish brown, reniform seeds, furrowed with striations are enclosed in capsules, which are 3-valved, tomentose, globose, subtended by the dry persistent calyx, 8 mm across (Chacko et al., 2002)
Seed length  2-3 mm across (Chacko et al., 2002)
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  32,000 to 1,58,000 seeds/kg (Sen Gupta, 1937; Kindt et al., 1997; Chacko et al., 2002)
Seed dispersal  Wind dispersal
Seed Collection  Capsules are collected from the tree by lopping off the branches (Chacko et al., 2002)
Transportation of seeds  Capsules collected in cotton/plastic/polythene bags are transported to the processing centre as quickly as possible (Chacko et al., 2002)
Seed processing  Capsules are dried in cloth bags under the sun. By rubbing the capsules, seeds are extracted by hand and cleaned by winnowing (Chacko et al.,2002)
Seed storage  Intermediate (CABI,1998; Chacko et al., 2002). Seeds are stored in airtight containers for six months in cold conditions (Chacko et al., 2002)
Viability period  Seeds retain viability for about six months (Chacko et al.,2002)
Seed emptiness  Moderate (Chacko et al.,2002)
Seed pre treatment  Cold water soaking for 24 hrs (Chacko et al., 2002)
Germination type  Epigeal (Chacko et al.,2002 and Troup, 1921)
Germination percentage  12 (Sen Gupta, 1937) to 30 (Carlowitz, 1991; Chacko et al., 2002). Low (Troup, 1921)
Germination period  28 to 71 days (Sen Gupta, 1937; Chacko et al., 2002)
Nursery technique  Due to high seed infertility seeds are sown in nursery beds or germination trays thickly and watered regularly. Seedlings are potted in polythene bags of size 20x10 cm filled with appropriate potting mixture (Chacko et al., 2002)
Method of propagation  By seeds
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  Nil (Chacko et al.,2002)
Diseases  Moderate. Fusarium moniliforme, F. semitectum, Phoma sp. are the important fungi recorded on seeds. (Mohanan and Sharma, 1991; Chacko et al., 2002)
Medicinal properties  The leaves are applied as paste in body pain. It is also chewed in the formation of saliva. Locally, its poultice is used for skin diseases
Uses  The tree is grown for ornamental and has particularly attractive flower in September-November. The tree is valued for the leaves which are lopped for fodder. Wood is used for small timbers and fuel wood
Wood properties  The sapwood is creamy, wide and the heartwood, which is sharply defined, is greyish brown with purplish tinge, small. The wood is soft and light (average air dry weight 384 kg/m3. Annual rings marked by white lines. Pores scanty, moderate sized, often oval and subdivided. Medullary rays short, fine to broad, numerous, joined by white transverse bars (Gamble, 1922)
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