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  Mallotus philippensis (Lam.) Muell.-Arg.
Vernacular name  Rohini, Raini, Rauni, Kamala (Hindi); Kapila (Kannada and Tamil); Chenkolli, Kurangumanjal, Noorimaram (Malayalam) (Sasidharan, 2004)
Common name  Kamala tree
Synonyms  Croton philippense Lamk. (Sasidharan, 2004)
Family  Euphorbiaceae
Distribution  Sub Himalayan tracts and outer hills from the Indus eastwards (ascending 1666.5 m). Common in Sal forests and in certain mixed and scrub forests. Found almost throughout India, reaching up to 800 m; Bangladesh; Sri Lanka; Malay Peninsula and Archipelago; Australia (Bose et al., 1998)
Description  A small to medium-sized branched evergreen tree, with a short and often fluted bole, attaining a height up to 20 m, with compact, oval crown; branchlets, young leaves and inflorescence rusty-pubescent (Bose et al., 1998)
Flowering season  July, October to January (Bose et al., 1998)
Fruiting season  Ripen during March to June
Flowers  Flowers dioecious, small, sessile in stiff spikes, terminal, solitary or panicled; male flowers: clustered, greenish yellow, 3-5 mm across; tepals 4, free; female flowers: 4 mm across; nearly sessile, greenish purple, in short spikes; tepals 3, bifid (Bose et al., 1998)
Fruits  3-lobbed capsule, 0.7-1.25 cm diameter, densely covered with red gland
Fruit type  Capsule
Seeds  0.35 cm diameter, black, sub globose, smooth with a moderately thick brittle testa
Seed length 
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  2117 to 2470 /100 g
Seed dispersal 
Seed Collection 
Transportation of seeds 
Seed processing 
Seed storage 
Viability period 
Seed emptiness 
Seed pre treatment  Soaking seeds in water for 24 hrs and 120 hrs give 80% and 82%germination respectively. However, when the seeds are scarified with H2SO4 germination will be reduced to 24% and heavy fungal attack is also observed (Kalpana Dubey and Anjana Rajput, 1999)
Germination type  Epigeous
Germination percentage  15 to 20. 82% (120 hrs) and 80% (24 hrs water soaking) (Kalpana Dubey and Anjana Rajput, 1999)
Germination period 
Nursery technique  Use of a shaded bed, growing media of soil/and/FYM at 1:1:1, and a sowing depth of 1.0 cm give the best results (Bahuguna and Pyare Lal, 1996)
Method of propagation  By seeds and vegetative method.Natural regeneration is not very successful for this tree for their growth and survival. The natural establishment of the seedlings under favourable conditions is greatly facilitated by its immunity to grazing and browsing
Vegetative propagation 
Medicinal properties  The glandular hairs of the fruit is used as medicinal. Kamala is used in parasitic affections of the skin, particularly scabies, pimples and ringworms, weeping, enzema, boils and also useful in bile trouble. Mallotus philippinensis (Kamala) has therapeutic effect against fascioliasis in lactating cows (Upadhyay and Kumar, 2005). Three novel chalcone derivatives, having antiinflammatory and immunoregulatory effects were isolated from the fruits of M. philippinensis (Daikonya et al., 2004). Used for treating helminthosis in ruminants (Abdul Jabbar et al., 2006). Methanolic extract of Mallotus philippensis posses anthelmintic property (Singh et al., 2004)
Uses  A dye called Kamala, used for drying silk is obtained from red glands on the surface of the capsule. The seasonal variations of sugar, starch and total carbohydrates (reserved food materials) have been investigated in leaf, bark, wood and seeds of Mallotus philippensis (Kadam, 2000). Three novel chalcone derivatives were isolated from the fruits of M. philippinensis. These compounds were identified using chemical and spectral data.They inhibited nitric oxide (NO) production and inducible NO synthase gene expression by a murine macrophage-like cell line . They down regulated cyclooxygenase-2 gene, interleukin-6 gene and interleukin-1 beta gene expression. These results suggest that they have antiinflammatory and immunoregulatory effects
Wood properties  The wood is fairly closed and straight grained, medium fine and even textured. It is hard, heavy and tough. Air dry weight about 770 Kg/m3
References  Get ...
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