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  Muntingia calabura L.
Vernacular name  Pancharapazham (Malayalam)
Common name  Chinese cherry, Couplin
Family  Tiliaceae
Distribution  Native of tropical South America and West Indies (CABI, 1998; Chacko et al., 2002).
Description  Small fast growing tree, up to 6 m high, with spreading and drooping branches
Flowering season  Throughout the year
Fruiting season  May to June
Flowers  Flowers white, solitary, 2 cm across, on long stalks, arising above the axils; sepals 5; petals obcordate, 1.2 cm long; stamens many (Bose et al., 1998)
Fruits  Fruit is a globose berry, containing many small seeds, red when ripe, resembling a cherry (Bose et al., 1998)
Fruit type  Berry
Seeds  Seeds are minute, many in soft sweet pulp (Bose et al., 1998)
Seed length 
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  27550 seeds/kg
Seed dispersal 
Seed Collection  Mature fruits (Berry) are collected from the floor or from the tree (Chacko et al., 2002)
Transportation of seeds  No special care is needed (Chacko et al., 2002)
Seed processing  The fruits are crushed in water inside a vessel and strained through a piece of cloth. The seeds are then sundried or ovendried and pure seeds are separated by sieving (Chacko et al., 2002)
Seed storage  Orthodox seed storage behaviour (CABI, 1998)
Viability period  No information (Chacko et al., 2002)
Seed emptiness  Very low (Chacko et al., 2002)
Seed pre treatment  Nil (Chacko et al., 2002)
Germination type  No information (Chacko et al., 2002)
Germination percentage  Up to 87 (Chacko et al.,2002)
Germination period  30 days (Chacko et al., 2002)
Nursery technique  Seeds are sown in moist polyurethene foam sheet or vermiculite, and seedlings are picked out into polythene bags of 25x20 cm filled with soil based potting mixture. The seedlings attain a height of 40 cm in about 4 months (Chacko et al., 2002)
Method of propagation 
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  No information (Chacko et al., 2002)
Diseases  No information (Chacko et al., 2002)
Medicinal properties 
Uses  An ornamental tree in most parts of tropical Asia and tropical America. The fruits are processed and in West Indies leaves are used for making tea. Bark yields a cordage fibre (Bose et al., 1998). Wood is used for fuel and in some areas for pulp. The sweet berry is edible. It is planted as intercrop with agricultural crops and also makes a good shade tree for livestock (CABI, 1998; Chacko et al., 2002)
Wood properties 
References  Get ...
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