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  Lagerstroemia speciosa (Linn.) Pers.
Vernacular name  Manimaruthu, Poomaruthu (Malayalam); Kadali (Tamil); Arjuna, Jarul (Hindi) (Chacko et al., 2002)
Common name  Queen of flowers, Queen crape myrtle (Chacko et al., 2002)
Synonyms  Lagerstroemia flos-reginae auct.non Retz., L. reginae Roxb. (Chacko et al., 2002)
Family  Lythraceae
Distribution  Occurs throughout India, Myanmar, Srilanka and Bangladesh (Chacko et al., 2002). It is very common on river-banks and in marshy places. The tree is frequently found in Assam, Meghalaya, Western Ghats; Bangladesh; lower Myanmar; Sri Lanka; Malay Peninsula, also in China and Australia, often planted for the timber (Bose et al., 1998)
Description  It is a fast growing medium sized deciduous tree. The branches grow fairly high up the trunk and produce a crown of leaves (Bose et al., 1998)
Flowering season  April to June
Fruiting season  November to January, December to February (Sen Gupta, 1937; Chacko et al., 2002)
Flowers  Large, 5-7cm diameter, large terminal paniculate cymes, calyx tomentose, 12-ribbed, segments 6; petals 6, margin erose-undulate, usually brilliant lilac or purplish lilac in colour, fading when old; stamens numerous (Bose et al., 1998)
Fruits  Fruit is a woody capsule, oblong, ovoid, 5-6 valved
Fruit type  Capsule
Seeds  Seeds are pale brown, glabrous, fairly hard seeds (Chacko et al., 2002); angular, winged (Bose et al., 1998)
Seed length  1.2-1.4 cm (Chacko et al., 2002)
Seed width  0.6-0.8 cm (Chacko et al., 2002)
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  75839 to 195111 seeds/kg (Sen Gupta, 1937; Chacko et al., 2002)
Seed dispersal  Wind dispersal
Seed Collection  Seed production starts at the age of 3 years. But fertile seeds are produced only by older trees of 15 years and about capsules are collected from the trees by lopping off the branches as soon as the capsules start to dehisce. Great care must be taken to see that only ripe fruits are collected (FRI, 1984; Chacko et al., 2002)
Transportation of seeds  Capsules collected in polythene/cotton/plastic bags are transported to the processing centre as quickly as possible (Chacko et al.,2002)
Seed processing  The capsules are spread out on mats in the sun for a few days until they are fully open and the seeds are extracted by hand or by gentle thrashing. The seeds are then dried and stored (FRI, 1984; Chacko et al., 2002). Care is taken to see that seeds are not blown away by wind (Chacko et al.,2002)
Seed storage  Probably orthodox. The seeds are stored in sealed gunny bags (FRI, 1984) and tins (Dent, 1948) in dry and well-ventilated sheds and are occasionally spread out in a shaded place. The seed retain viability for one year (FRI, 1984; Chacko et al., 2002)
Viability period  Seeds retain viability for one year in sealed tins (Chacko et al.,2002)
Seed emptiness  High (Chacko et al.,2002)
Seed pre treatment  Soaking the seeds in water for 12 hrs immediately before sowing hastens germination (FRI, 1984; Chacko et al., 2002). Alternating temperature regime of 35/20oC (16/8 hrs) promote germination (Hung et al., 2004)
Germination type  Epigeal (Chacko et al.,2002)
Germination percentage  14 to 90 (Chacko et al.,2002); 54-56% (Ram Prasad et al., 1988)
Germination period  10 to 230 days (FRI, 1984; Chacko et al., 2002). Start 15 days after sowing and will be complete in 2 days (Ram Prasad et al., 1988)
Nursery technique  Seeds are sown in vermiculite and watering done regularly. The seedlings are potted in polybags of size 22.5 x 17.5 cm and kept under shade. As far as possible use of fresh seeds is recommended (Chacko et al., 2002)
Method of propagation  By seeds. The rooting response of stem cuttings can be increased by treatment with IAA or IBA at 10 and 100 ppm in March than in November. Air layering is also successful (Rahman, 1977).
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  Nil (Chacko et al.,2002)
Diseases  Moderate (31.4%). Nine fungi, a bacterium and actinomycetes are recorded. Cephalosporium acromonium, Fusarium sp., Pestalotia sp. are the seed pathogens (Mohanan and Anil Chandran, 2001; Chacko et al., 2002)
Medicinal properties  The root is astringent and is considered as stimulant and febrifuge. The bark and leaves are purgative and the seeds have narcotic effect (Bose et al., 1998)
Uses  It is an important timber tree. This tree is also widely grown for beautification in many tropical countries and they are commonly known as queen of flowers. The wood is used for house construction, furniture etc. Bleached pulps for writing papers could be manufactured in satisfactory yield (Singh et al., 1972). Wood is used in planking, scantlings, beams, posts, ship-building, railway wagons etc. Also used for country made guns and rifles (FRI, 1984; Chacko et al., 2002).
Wood properties 
References  Get ...
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