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  Neolamarckia cadamba (Roxb.) Bosser
Vernacular name  Kadambu, Aatuthekku, Kodavara (Malayalam); Vellacadamba, Kola-aiyila (Tamil); Bale, Kada (Kannada); Kadam (Hindi) (Chacko et al.,2002).
Common name  Bur-flower tree (Chacko et al.,2002); Wild Cinchona, Kadam.
Synonyms  Nauclea cadamba Roxb., Anthocephalus chinensis (Lam.) A. Rich. ex Walp., Anthocephalus cadamba (Roxb.) Miq., Anthocephalus indicus A. Rich. (Chacko et al.,2002); Cephalanthus chinensis Lamk., Sarcocephalus cadamba Kurz
Family  Rubiaceae
Distribution  Occurs often on alluvial soil along rivers and also in swampy areas. The tree has wide distribution in Nepal eastwards, Bengal, Assam,Bihar, Myanmar, Andhra Pradesh, and the west coast from North Kanara southwards. It also occurs in Sri Lanka. It is cultivated in many parts of India (FRI, 1985; Chacko et al., 2002). They are found in moist, warm type of deciduous and evergreen forests. It is found in sub Himalayan tract from Nepal, West Bengal and found in all over India.
Description  Fast growing large deciduous tree attaining a height of more than 25 m and a breast height diameter of 80 cm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Flowering season  May to September.
Fruiting season  August to October (Chacko et al., 2002); January to February.
Flowers  Orange or yellow in globose heads. Flowers yellow, solitary, terminal consisting of small yellow or orange coloured scented flowers.
Fruits  Fruit is a fleshy orange, globose pseudocarp of compressed angular capsules, each containing a number of seeds with persistant calyx.
Fruit type 
Seeds  Small, Muriculate.
Seed length  0.59-0.68 mm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed width  0.41-0.48 mm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  9,20,651 (Sen Gupta, 1937); 23,000,000-31,200,000 seeds/kg (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed dispersal  Animals, birds and bats.
Seed Collection  Fruits are collected from the ground and heaped under shade. Mature fruits change colour from green to orange, can be collected from the trees also (Chacko et al., 2002).
Transportation of seeds  No special care is needed (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed processing  The fruits are allowed to rot for 3 to 4 days and the pulp is made into a slurry by hand in a bucket containing water. Seeds are then thoroughly dried and stored in a dry place (FRI, 1985; Chacko et al., 2002). Ripe fruits are air dried, crushed, and shaken through a No. 35 US Standard Sieve to separate seed from chaff. Fruits are soaked in the open until rotted, ground by hand into a thick slurry, air dried, and passed through a series of sieves terminating with a No. 35 (Venatore and Zambrana, 1972).
Seed storage  Probably orthodox. Seeds can be stored in dry place for one year (Dent, 1948; Chacko et al., 2002).
Viability period  Seeds are viable up to one year (Dent, 1948; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed emptiness  No information (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed pre treatment  Not required (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination type  Epigeal (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination percentage  67 to 75 (Chacko et al., 2002). Freshly extracted seed: 90% (Venatore and Zambrana, 1972). Clean seeds (pulp removed): 75% (laboratory) and 52% (nursery). Seeds with pulp: 4.85% (Beniwal and Dhawan, 1991).
Germination period  7 to 21 days (Sen Gupta, 1937) 15 to 30 days (Rai, 1999), 11 to 50 days (FRI, 1985; Chacko et al., 2002).
Nursery technique  The seeds, being very minute are mixed with fine sand before sowing at the rate of about 130 g of seeds per square meter of bed (FRI, 1985). The bed should be made with more sand. Cover the bed with straw. The entire bed should be sprayed with fungicide and dusted with insecticide like BHC to prevent fungal and insect damage. Water the bed with a fine rose can twice a day. In each bed of one square meter about 2000 seelings are expected. When the seedlings are about 1 to 2 cm in height, prick out along with the ball of earth and into polythene bags of size 22.5 x 17.5 cm. Keep these young seedlings under shade for about 60 days (Chacko et al., 2002).
Method of propagation  By seeds.
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  Moderate damage due to un unidentified caterpillar (Chacko et al., 2002). Euchlora viridis, Holotrichia constricta, H. helleri, Lepidiota stigma and Leucopholis rorida. One or more of these species damage 1- to 2-year-old trees of Anthocephalus cadamba (Intari and Natawiria, 1973). The nematodes found associated with the roots of Anthocephalus cadamba are Meloidogyne spp., Hemicriconemoides, Tylenchorhynchus and Hoplolaimus and M. javanica in root galls. Application of D-D (Mixture of 1,3-dichloropropene and 1,2-dichloropropane) at 250 litres/hectare reduce the attack (Gupta and Dalal, 1973). Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis damage leaf area of Anthocephalus cadamba (Srivastva and Attri, 2004).
Diseases  Low (18 to 29%). Colletotrichum gloeosporiodes, Drechslera sp., Fusarium sp., and Phoma sp., are the important field fungi on seeds. Storage moulds include Aspergillus spp., Chaetomium sp., and Mucor sp. (Mohanan and Geetha Varma, 2001; Chacko and Mohanan, 2002; Chacko et al., 2002). A disease of unknown etiology occur in patches and affected trees show cambial and sapwood staining spreading upwards from the roots. Also, symptoms like root infection, and the death of feeding roots occur (Gibson and Nylund, 1976). Brown leaf spot caused by Phaeoisariopsis anthocephala (Kobayashi, 1987). Leaf blight caused by Rhizoctonia solani affects 40-80% of the foliage in seedlings. Can be controlled by the use of sterilized soil or application of Bayleton [triadimefon] (Mehrotra, 1993).
Medicinal properties  Bark and roots are used for medicinal purposes (FRI, 1985). It is useful in vitiated conditions of pitta, inflammation, haemoptysis, fever, cough, ulcers and debility. Bark is considered to be a tonic and febrifuge, astringent, febrifugal and anti diuretic properties, and is given in cough. Tender shoots are taken internally to cure dysentery and increase digestion. The juice of the bark forms a constituent of a compound to treat inflamation of the eye (Chacko et al., 2002). Ethanolic and aqueous extracts of the N. cadamba bark possess anthelmintic activity also (Gunasekaran et al., 2006). Chlorogenic acid (CGA), isolated from the leaves of N. cadamba has hepatoprotective activity because of its antioxidative action (Kapil et al., 1995).
Uses  The bark contain tannins. The flowers are used as vegetable. On steam distillation, the flowers yield an essential oil. Anthocephalus alkaloids: cadamine and isocadamine are isolated from the leaves (Brown and Chapple, 1976). Oil is obtained from flower (Chandra, 1985). Extracts from N. cadamba show inhibition against the mycelium growth of Alternaria brassicae (Bhardwaj and Laura, 2007). A flavonoid glycoside is isolated from the air-dried bark. This flavonoid glycoside and its aglycone show potent inhibition against sorbitol accumulation in human red blood cells (Haraguchi et al., 1998). Wood is used for ceiling boards, packing cases, light furniture. The wood is highly preferred for pencil making (Chacko et al., 2002) and can also be used as a raw material for papermaking (Chittenden and Palmer, 1972).
Wood properties  Wood is white with yellowish tinge turning greyish with age without any distinct heartwood. It is a soft and light wood. Air dry weight about 500 kg/m3.
References  Get ...
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