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  Palaquium ellipticum (Dalz.) Engl.
Vernacular name  Choppala, Kattu-illupa, Pachenthi, Pala, Pali (Malayalam) (Sasidharan, 2004).
Common name 
Synonyms  Bassia ellipticum, Bassia elliptica Dalz., Dichopsis elliptica (Dalz.) Benth. (Sasidharan, 2004).
Family  Sapotaceae
Distribution  Peninsular India in the Western Ghats from North Karnataka southwards. Occurs all down the Western Ghats from Bombay southwards, absent in Sri Lanka (Bourdillon, 1908).
Description  Trees up to 30 m high, branches angular, terete or obscurely terete (Bourdillon, 1908). Lofty trees forming a prominent component of the top canopy, mostly in the evergreen forests.
Flowering season  December to April (Bourdillon, 1908).
Fruiting season  May to August, August to September (Bourdillon, 1908).
Flowers  Flowers are white, fragrant in axillary fascicles, pedicels are 2 to 4 cm long, calyx consists of 6 sepals, corolla are 5 to 6 lobed. About 12 to 18 stamens present in two whorls (Bourdillon, 1908).
Fruits  Fleshy oblong or ellipsoid berries, and are 1 seeded.
Fruit type  Berry.
Seeds  Seeds are light brown, acute at both ends.
Seed length 
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  251 to 420 seeds/kg.
Seed dispersal 
Seed Collection 
Transportation of seeds 
Seed processing 
Seed storage 
Viability period 
Seed emptiness 
Seed pre treatment  Soaking in cold water can enhance germination percentage of seeds.
Germination type 
Germination percentage  61 to 79
Germination period 
Nursery technique 
Method of propagation  By seeds.
Vegetative propagation 
Medicinal properties 
Uses  Seeds yield an oil which is used as an illuminent and in soap manufacture. Trunk yield a gum and it is useful as a coating of ropes, soled shoes and in the manufacture of ground sheets.
Wood properties  Sapwood white, 5 cm thick; heartwood reddish-brown, straight grained, even, moderately hard and durable. Pores are medium-sized to large, arranged in short, wavy, radial lines. Rays are fine, numerous, crossed by frequent concentric bands of light tissue. Annual rings are indistinct, but marked by darker lines (Bourdillon, 1908).
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