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  Persea macrantha (Nees) Kosterm.
Vernacular name  Ooravu, Kula mavu (Malayalam) (Sasidharan, 2004), Kolamavu, Kolarmavu (Tamil) (Chacko et al., 2002).
Common name  Machilus (Chacko et al., 2002).
Synonyms  Machilus macrantha Nees (Sasidharan, 2004; Chacko et al., 2002; Bose et al., 1998).
Family  Lauraceae
Distribution  Occurs in penisnular India and Sri Lanka (Rai, 1999). In Kerala, it is fairly common in evergreen, semi evergreen and moist deciduous forest up to 2100 m (Chacko et al., 2002). In Western Ghats and Sri Lanka; grown up to 1100 m in the hills of Indian Peninsula (Bose et al., 1998).
Description  Large, evergreen tree reaching a height of 30 m and 127 cm breast height diameter (Chacko et al., 2002; Bose et al., 1998).
Flowering season  November to January. February to March (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruiting season  February to March (Rai, 1999 Chacko et al., 2002). May to June (Bose et al., 1998).
Flowers  Perianth greenish yellow, pubescent without stamens hairy and flowers are borne near the end of the branches, in panicles. Flowers greenish white, 3-4 merous, 1 cm across, in subterminal panicles; tepals 6, 3+3, equal or the outer whorls smaller, puberulous, acute; fertile stamens 9; staminodes 3 (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruits  Fruit is a berry, globose, green, 1.5 cm contain the globose seed. (Chacko et al., 2002).
Fruit type  Berry.
Seeds  Seed globose with thin testa.
Seed length 
Seed width  1.3-1.9 cm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  2,000 seeds/kg (Rai,1999; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed dispersal 
Seed Collection  Collect the fruits from the ground soon after fall or from the tree by shaking the branches manually (Chacko et al., 2002).
Transportation of seeds  Fruits collected in ventilated polythene bags and transported to the processing centre as quickly as possible (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed processing  Depulp the fruits and wash them thoroughly in water and dry under shade (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed storage  Intermediate (CABI, 1998). Seeds can not be stored for long (Chacko et al., 2002).
Viability period  Seeds retain viability for one month under ambient conditions (Rai, 1999; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed emptiness  Low (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed pre treatment  Not necessary (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination type  Epigeal (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination percentage  Up to 80 (Rai,1999; Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination period  15 to 25 days (Rai, 1999; Chacko et al., 2002).
Nursery technique  Freshly collected seeds are sown in germination trays filled with vermiculite and watered regularly. After completion of germination, the seedlings are pricked out to polythene bags of size 22.5 x 17.5 cm filled with soil and maintained under shade (Chacko et al., 2002).
Method of propagation  By seeds
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  No information (Chacko et al., 2002).
Diseases  Low (Chacko et al., 2002).
Medicinal properties  Bark and leaves of this tree are medicinal. Powdered bark is mainly used in the treatment of tuberculosis, asthma, and rheumatism and leaves are curative for ulcers.
Uses  Wood is used for rough planking and packing case, canoes, but is liable to be attacked by insects. The bark yields one of the highly sought after materials for agarbathi manufacture, which is used as a binder (Chacko et al.,2002).
Wood properties  The wood is even and medium textured, moderately hard, smooth, lustrous and light weight. It is a light reddish brown in colour without a distinct heartwood.
References  Get ...
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