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  Terminalia crenulata Roth
Vernacular name  Karimaruthu, Thembavu (Malayalam), Karimaruthu, Karumarudu (Tamil), Asan (Hindi), Banappu sajad, Karimatti (Kannada) (Chacko et al., 2002).
Common name  Indian laurel (Chacko et al., 2002),
Synonyms  Terminalia tomentosa var. crenulata (Roth) Cl. (Sasidharan, 2004; Chacko et al., 2002).
Family  Combretaceae
Distribution  Widely distributed in South West India and is common all along the Western Ghats (FRI, 1984). In Kerala it occurs in moist decidous forests up to 600 m (Chacko et al.,2002).
Description  Moderately fast growing, large deciduous tree attaining a height of 30 to 36 m and a breast height diameter of 134 cm (Chacko et al.,2002).
Flowering season  July to August
Fruiting season  March to April (Sen Gupta, 1937; Chacko et al., 2002).
Flowers  Flowers in villous panicles, pale yellow, stamens 10.
Fruits  Fruit is a drupe, large glabrous, 4-5 winged, 3-4 x 3.5 cm, contains the pale yellow coloured seed (Chacko et al., 2002).
Fruit type  Drupe.
Seeds  Four to five winged, pale yellow coloured seeds
Seed length  3.5-4.2 cm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed width  2.4-3.8 cm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  441-551 fruits/kg (Sen Gupta, 1937); 1370 fruits/kg (Chacko et al.,2002).
Seed dispersal 
Seed Collection  The best time to collect seed is just after leaf shedding (FRI, 1984) and when the wings turn into black colour (Chacko et al., 2002).
Transportation of seeds  Fruits collected either in cotton or gunny bags are transported to the processing centre at the earliest (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed processing  The fruits are sun dried for 3 to 4 days (FRI, 1984; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed storage  Intermediate (CABI, 1998). The sun dried fruits can be stored in sealed tin or gunny bags in a dry ventilated shed up to one year (Dent, 1948; Chacko et al., 2002).
Viability period  Seeds stored in sealed containers keep viability well for one year (Dent, 1948; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed emptiness  Low (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed pre treatment  Remove the wings using scissors or crush the fruits to break the wings and then soak in water for 24 hrs (Chacko et al., 2002). Seed scarification and complete removal of seed coat, repeated scarification with concentrated sulfuric acid and treatment with cow dung slurry (attract termites which feed on the fibrous seed covering) also hasten germination (Rai et al., 1986; Zentsch and Kaul, 1968; Negi and Todaria, 1995).
Germination type  Epigeal (FRI, 1984; Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination percentage  Up to 72 (Sen Gupta, 1937; Chacko et al., 2002). Seed scarification and complete removal of seed coat give 37 and 97% germination respectively (Negi and Todaria, 1995).
Germination period  10 to 35 days (Sen Gupta, 1937; Chacko et al., 2002).
Nursery technique  The seeds are sown with the fruits stalk end downwards in germination trays containing vermiculite and watered daily. Seedlings at 3 or 4 leaf stage are planted out to polythene bags of 22.5 x 17.5 cm size filled with soil based potting mixture and kept in the open for further development under natural conditions. The plants are watered regularly (Negi and Todaria,1995; Chacko et al., 2002). Requires about 20-30% culling in order to obtain uniformly good planting stock (Rao et al., 1998).
Method of propagation  By seeds.
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  A caterpillar causing premature fall of fruits, results in oozing of fluid on fruits (Chacko et al., 2002). Leaf gall caused by Trioza hirsuta causing deformities and extensive damage to the foliage (Dhiman et al., 2003).
Diseases  Species of field fungi belonging to Drechslera, Alternaria, Cylindrocladium and Myrothecium are detected on seeds (Chacko et al., 2002).
Medicinal properties  The bark is bitter, cooling, diuretic, styptic and uterine tonic. It is useful in vitiated conditions of pitta and cough.
Uses  The wood is used for building purposes, agricultural implements, fuel and charcoal (FRI,1984; Chacko et al., 2002). The gross heat value of seeds is 5506.0 cal/g (Augustus and Seiler, 2001).
Wood properties  The wood is dark brown streaked with black and is also good for building. Sapwood reddish white, heart wood dark brown, hard, beautifully variegated with streaks of darker colour. Pores moderate sized and large uniformly distributed. Medullary rays not distinct, very fine, numerous, uniform equidistant and often wavy (Gamble, 1922).
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