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  Adenanthera pavonina Linn.
Vernacular name  Rakta chandana (Hindi), Anikundumani (Tamil), Manchadi (Malayalam) (Chacko et al., 2002).
Common name  Red wood, Peacock wood, Red bead tree (Chacko et al., 2002). Bead tree, Coral wood (Bose et al., 1998).
Synonyms  Adenanthera microsperma
Family  Leguminosae
Subfamily  Mimosoideae
Origin  Native of Western ghats, Sub-Himalayan tract and Andamans.
Distribution  Native of Western ghats, Sub-Himalayan tract and Andamans. Also Found in China, Malaya Peninsula and Archipelago.
Description  Fast- growing, moderate sized handsome deciduous tree about 20 m in height. It has a clear bole of 6 m (CSIR, 1948; Prasad and Reshmi, 2003).
Flowering season  March to April (major), Early rain and September (Minor).
Fruiting season  March to July (Chacko et al., 2002).
Flowers  Flowers are pale yellow, in short peduncled racemes or panicled and scented at the end of branches (CSIR, 1948).
Fruits  Strap shaped pod of 15 to 25 cm length, the valves spirally twisted after dehiscence (CSIR, 1948).
Fruit type  Pod.
Seeds  Seeds are hard, bright red, scarlet shining seeds, lenticular-globose.
Seed length  8-9 mm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed width 
Seed thickness  6-7 mm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed weight  1,200 to 3,360 seeds/kg (FRI, 1983; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed dispersal  Birds, snakes (Engel,1997).
Seed Collection  Pods should be collected from the tree before their dehiscence by lopping off the branches or from the ground soon after fall (Chacko et al., 2002).
Transportation of seeds  Pods / seeds are collected in cotton / plastic / polythene bags and transported (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed processing  Pods are sun-dried until seeds are released (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed storage  Orthodox. Seeds can be stored in sealed tin, polythene bags and plastic containers for more than one year (Chacko et al., 2002).
Viability period  Seeds retain viability for more than one year in sealed tins (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed emptiness  No information (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed pre treatment  Hot water treatment (FRI, 1983; Chacko et al., 2002) or sulphuric acid scarification for 45 to 60 min (Kindt et.al., 1997) or boiled water treatment for 1 min followed by 24 hrs cold water soaking (Koirala et al., 2000), mechanical scarification treatments with sandpaper + 24 h soaking in water, immersion in water at 90, 80, 70 and 60oC for one min are efficient for breaking seed dormancy (Bruno et al., 2004). GA3 (100-500 ppm) treatments give significantly high, early and less time for 50% germination in Adenanthera pavonina seeds (Vasundhara et al., 2006). Seeds also germinate after passing through the gut-passage of a Rock Python (Python sebae) (Engel, 1997).
Germination type  Epigeal (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination percentage  64 (Koirala et al., 2000), 72 (FRI, 1983; Chacko et al., 2002). Seeds of Adenanthera pavonina, a pioneer tree species show better germination in three concentrations of mannitol solution (0, 0.3, 0.5 MPa) and placed in lighted and dark conditions. Seed ge
Germination period  6 to 45 days (Koirala et al., 2000; Chacko et al., 2002).
Nursery technique  Pre treated seeds are sown in plastic trays filled with vermiculite and watered regularly. The seedlings are pricked out into polythene bags of size 22.5 cm x 17.5 cm filled with potting mixture and kept under shade for about a week for establishment (FRI, 1983; Chacko et al., 2002). 150 days after emerging use of cerrado soil with additions of NPK under high light intensity has good effect on the growth (Fanti and Perez, 2003).
Method of propagation  By seeds, cuttings.
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  Nil (Chacko et al., 2002).
Diseases  Moderate (48 to 52 %). 21 fungi and a bacterium are recorded. Fusarium solani, Candelavrella sp., Verticillium sp., are the important ones (Mohanan and Anil Chandran, 2001; Chacko et al., 2002).
Medicinal properties  Seeds are used for the treatment of cholera and general paralysis. A decoction of the seeds and wood is used in pulmonary affection and externally applied in chronic opthalmia (CSIR, 1948). A decoction of the leaves or bark is used as a remedy for chronic rheumatism and gout. The raw seeds and leaves have medicinal uses (FRI, 1983; Chacko et al., 2002).
Uses  Good timber for construction of home and furniture. Seeds are used as measure of weight by jewellers and goldsmith and also as beads. Wood gives a red dye. Seeds contain 11-29 mg/g free amino acid (Kadam, 2001), appreciable amounts of proteins (29.44 g/100 g), crude fat (17.99 g/100 g), and minerals, comparable to commonly consumed staples. Total sugar is low (8.2 g/100 g) while starch (41.95 g/100 g) constitutes major carbohydrate. A. pavonina seeds represent a potential source of oil and protein that could alleviate shortages (Ezeagu et al., 2004). Seeds also contain three classes of papain (cysteine proteinase) inhibitors (Silva et al., 1995).
Wood properties  The sapwood is yellowish grey. Heartwood is sharply demarcated from the sapwood. It is pinkish brown with darker streaks. The wood is hard and heavy with interlocked grain and medium coarse texture. Pores are small, scanty, in groups or short radial lines. Medullary rays very fine, extremely numerous (Gamble, 1922).
References  Get ...
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