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  Mangifera indica L.
Vernacular name  Mavu, Moochy (Malayalam); Maa, Mamaram , Manga (Tamil); Mavena, Mavu (Kannada); Am, Ambi (Hindi) (Chacko et al.,2002)
Common name  Spring tree, Mango (Chacko et al.,2002)
Synonyms  M. domestica Gaertn.
Family  Anacardiaceae
Subfamily 
Origin  Indo-Myanmar region
Distribution  Originated in the Indo - Myanmar region. Found wild almost throughout India. Besides India, mango is cultivated in Pakisthan; Bangladesh; Myanmar, Malaysia; Indonesia; Thailand; Sri Lanka; Philippines and tropical Australia; South Africa and many other African countries; Brazil; Venezuela; West Indies; Florida in the United states. In Kerala it occurs in evergreen and semi-evergreen forests (Chacko et al., 2002; Bose et al., 1998)
Description  A large spreading evergreen tree up to 45 m in height and a breast height diameter of 120 cm and a dome-shaped canopy (Chacko et al., 2002; Bose et al., 1998)
Flowering season  January to February; November to March (India) and June and October (Australia) (Bose et al., 1998)
Fruiting season  April to July (FRI, 1981; Chacko et al., 2002)
Flowers  The inflorescence is yellowish panicle with small inconspicuous flowers, with a strong odour. Flowers small, yellowish or greenish yellow, scented, male and perfect, on terminal paniculate cymes of about 30 cm long; perfect stamen 1, inserted on the inner side of the lobed disc; sterile stamens 2 or 4, minute (Bose et al., 1998)
Fruits  Fruit is a drupe with large flesh, green orange, yellow or red, with varying shapes and size
Fruit type  Drupe
Seeds  Seeds solitary,5 to 15 cm long, ovoid, yellowish in colour, contains single seed, enclosed in a hard compressed fibrous endocarp (Chacko et al.,2002)
Seed length  5-10 cm (Chacko et al., 2002)
Seed width  5-6 cm (Chacko et al., 2002)
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  106 seeds/kg. Seed weight varies widely depending on the variety (Chacko et al., 2002)
Seed dispersal  Bats, Wind and Insects such as wasps, ants and bees
Seed Collection  Ripe fruits are collected from the trees by shaking off the branches manually. Freshly fallen drupes are also collected from ground (Chacko et al.,2002)
Transportation of seeds  Drupes collected in cotton/plastic/polythene bags are transported as quickly as possible to the processing centre (Chacko et al.,2002)
Seed processing  The fleshy mesocarp is removed by allowing them to decay for 4 or 5 days and then soaked in water. The fruit is de-pulped and shade dried (Chacko et al., 2002)
Seed storage  Recalcitrant. Seeds do not retain viability for more than 2 months (Chacko et al., 2002). Seeds stored in charcoal powder will retain viability of 50-60% for up to 90 days (Teaotia and Singh,1971)
Viability period  Seed is viable up to two months under moist storage (Chacko et al.,2002)
Seed emptiness  No information (Chacko et al.,2002)
Seed pre treatment  Not necessary (Chacko et al., 2002). Decortication encourage all nucellar seedlings in the seed to develop and establish themselves but the presence of a seed coat inhibit sprouting of the weaker nucellar seedlings (Sinnadurai, 1975)
Germination type  Hypogeal (Chacko et al.,2002)
Germination percentage  Up to 83 (Chacko et al.,2002)
Germination period  15 to 48 days (Chacko et al.,2002)
Nursery technique  Freshly collected seeds are sown in nursery beds or germination trays containing vermiculite and watered. The seedlings are pricked out and potted in polythene bags of 22.5 x 17.5 cm size, filled with potting mixture and kept under shade (Chacko et al.,2002). Sowing in root trainers improve root number, root length, seedling height and number of leaves per plant compared to sowing in earthenware pots (Neha Chopde et al., 1999)
Method of propagation  Budding, crown grafting, veneer grafting and side grafting. The cleft method is suitable for raising young plant material and for topworking. The scion should be more than 5 cm in length with more than 2 buds; after grafting it should be wrapped with po
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  The mango nut weevil Cryptorhynchus mangiferae Fb. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) bores the seed in the fruit. The developing fruits are frequently attacked by the mango fruit fly Dacus dorsalis Hendel. (Diptera: Trypetidae), (Beeson, 1941) (Chacko et al., 2002). Mango, attacked by scale insects Selenaspidus articulatus (Morg.) , Pseudaonidia trilobitiformis (Green) and Ischnaspis longirostris (Sign.) (Clavijo and Santiago Clavijo, 1977)
Diseases  Moderate (35%). Of the five fungi and a bacterium recorded, Phoma sp., Fusarium sp. were important. Seed rotting is caused by Fusarium sp. (Mohanan and Anil Chandran, 2001; Chacko et al., 2002)
Medicinal properties  Mangoes are exceedingly refreshing to eat and excellent source of vitamin A and C. The bark is astringent and it is used to cure diptheria and rheumatism. The fruits are used for constipation because of its laxative property
Uses  It is undoubtedly one of the best fruits of the world. Fruits contain Vitamin C. Wood is extensively used for making boats, furniture and agricultural implements. The bark is used in Havan which is one of the ritual to please the Gods of Heaven. Although mango is chiefly consumed as fresh ripe fruit, squash, nectar, jam, mango lather, and toffee are produced from the ripe mango (Bose et al., 1998)
Wood properties  The wood varies in colour from yellowish white to pale greyish brown usually without any distinct heartwood but fairly large dark brown heartwood may be present in some logs. It is a moderately hard and moderately heavy wood. Wood grey, in old trees sometimes dark brown with black streaks, and hard; in vounger trees, coarse-grained, soft. Pores scanty, moderate-sized and large, distinctly marked on a longitudinal section, often subdivided and sometimes joined by short concentric bands. Medullary rays fine, wavy, closely packed, interrupted by, or bent round, the pores (Gamble, 1922)
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