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  Peltophorum pterocarpum (DC.) Baker ex Heyne
Vernacular name  Ivalvagai, Ivavakai, Peringondrai (Tamil), Poomaram (Malayalam) (Chacko et al., 2002), Kodachinta (Telugu).
Common name  Rusty shield bearer (Bose et al., 1998), braziletto wood, sagabark peltophorum, Yellow gold mohur, Copper pod (Chacko et al., 2002).
Synonyms  Peltophorum ferrugineum Benth. (Sasidharan, 2004), Inga pterocarpa DC., (Chacko et al., 2002; Bose et al., 1998). Caesalpinia ferruginea, Baryxylum inerme, Caesalpinia inermis, Peltophorum inermis
Family  Leguminosae
Subfamily  Caesalpinioideae
Distribution  Native of Indo-Malayan region and N. Australia and is found as a littoral species in the coastal forests of many islands in the Andamans. It is largely cultivated throughout India in gardens and as avenue tree on account of its beautiful flowers (FRI, 1983; Chacko et al., 2002). Distributed in the Andamans; Sri Lanka; Malaysia and Australia. One of the most popular flowering trees in almost all tropical countries of the world (Bose et al., 1998).
Description  A large magnificient fast growing evergreen tree attaining a height of 12-24 m and a breast height diameter of 32-63 cm with spreading crown of elegant dark green foliage (FRI, 1983; Chacko et al., 2002). It resembles and is easily mistaken for Albizia chinensis. Young branches, petioles, rachis and midrib are brown ferruginose-pubescent (Bose et al., 1998).
Flowering season  March - May and September to October; February to April.
Fruiting season  January to March and September to November (FRI, 1983; Chacko et al., 2002).
Flowers  Bright yellow in large rusty terminal panicle. Fragrant flowers, 1.5 inches across (4 cm), with wrinkled petals, each with a brown spot. They are born on upright racemes about 18 inches long (45 cm).
Fruits  Pods are oblong, 5-10 cm long and 25 cm broad, compressed, indehiscent, thin, flat, brownish and winged towards both sutures (Chacko et al., 2002).
Fruit type  Pod.
Seeds  1-4, usually brown, oblong, 1cm long. Oblong seed pods, 2 to 4.5 inches long (5-11.5 cm), 0.8 to 1.1 inches wide (2-2.7 cm).
Seed length  1 cm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  20,000 to 21,000 seeds/kg (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed dispersal 
Seed Collection  Pods are collected from the tree by lopping off the branches (Chacko et al., 2002).
Transportation of seeds  Pods collected in cotton / polythene bags are transported to the processing centre (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed processing  Pods are dried in cloth bags under the sun. Seeds can be separated by using seed scarifier (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed storage  Most probably orthodox. Seeds are stored in airtight containers for more than one year in dry place under cold conditions (Chacko et al., 2002).
Viability period  Seeds are viable up to one year in sealed tins (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed emptiness  Low (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed pre treatment  Soak the seeds in hot water and allow the contents to cool for 24 hrs.
Germination type  Epigeal (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination percentage  Up to 10 (Kumar and Bhanja, 1992; Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination period  7 to 30 days (Chacko et al., 2002).
Nursery technique  Freshly collected seeds are pretreated and sown in germination trays containing vermiculite and watered regularly. The seedlings are pricked out and potted in polythene bags of 20 x 10 cm in size and maintained under shade (Chacko et al., 2002).
Method of propagation  From seeds.
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  Low (Chacko et al., 2002)
Diseases  Moderate (34.6 %). Eleven fungi and actinomycetes are recorded. Penicillium sp., Aspergillus reserictus, A. flavus, A. niger, Trichoderma sp., Thielavia sp. are the important storage moulds (Mohanan and Anil Chandran, 2001; Chacko et al., 2002).
Medicinal properties  Bark is used for dysentery and is a constituent of tooth powders and gargles in Ayurveda. Bark lotions are used for sores, muscular pains and eye troubles.
Uses  Valued as an avenue species, Wood used for cabinet making and fuelwood. The tree is ornamental and suitable for gardens (FRI, 1983 Chacko et al., 2002). Bark is rich in tannin and used for tanning leather, fish nets and tarpaulines. It makes a good home for the lac insect. The wood is used for making furniture and boundary fences in rural areas.
Wood properties  Sapwood is greyish white, turning light greyish-brown on ageing. The heartwood is light reddish brown or black and is moderately hard and heavy, somewhat lustrous, straight interlocked grained and medium coarse textured. Wood is light reddish brown, soft. Pores are moderate sized, often subdivided, scanty; enclosed, singly or in groups of 2 and 3 in patches of lose tissue which often join together concentrically. Medullary rays are very fine, very numerous and closely packed (Gamble, 1922).
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