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  Wrightia tinctoria (Roxb.) R. Br.
Vernacular name  Dhantappala, Kambippala, Aiya pala, Shanthippala, Neelampala, Vettupala (Malayalam), Nilapalei, Pala, Irumpalai, Thontha palei (Tamil), Dudhi, Indarjan, Khimi (Hindi) (Chacko et al., 2002).
Common name  Pala indigo (Chacko et al., 2002; Bose et al., 1998).
Synonyms  Nerium tinctorium Roxb. (Chacko et al., 2002).
Family  Apocynaceae
Subfamily 
Origin 
Distribution  It occurs in the deciduous forests throughout the peninsular India, also in Rajasthan, central, western India. In Kerala it occurs in the moist and dry deciduous forests up to 1200 m (Chacko et al., 2002; Bose et al., 1998; Bourdillon, 1908).
Description  A small deciduous tree, up to 10 m high with milky juice, with an irregularly shaped trunk (Bourdillon, 1908; Chacko et al., 2002).
Flowering season  March to July (Bose et al., 1998); March to April (Bourdillon, 1908).
Fruiting season  January to February (Chacko et al., 2002); November to January (Bose et al., 1998); August to September (Bourdillon, 1908).
Flowers  White or pale yellow, in lax spreading corymbs, ramifications slender, 2 cm across, corolla tube 3-4 mm long; corona of many linear scales; anthers prominent (Bourdillon, 1908; Bose et al., 1998).
Fruits  A pair of follicles, pendulous, cylindrical, curved, 20-40 cm long, usually cohering at the base only (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruit type  Follicle.
Seeds  Many oblong ribbed pale brown coloured black seed with coma at their ends (Bourdillon, 1908; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed length  1.2-1.8 cm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  28,000 seeds/kg (FRI, 1985; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed dispersal  By wind
Seed Collection  The follicles are collected from the trees by lopping off the branches (Chacko et al., 2002).
Transportation of seeds  Follicles are packed in cloth or gunny bags and taken to the processing centre soon after collection (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed processing  Follicles are sun-dried in cloth bags. When the follicles dehisce the seeds are released along with floss and are separated (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed storage 
Viability period 
Seed emptiness  No information
Seed pre treatment  Soaking in cold water (FRI, 1985; Chacko et al.,2002).
Germination type  Epigeous (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination percentage 
Germination period 
Nursery technique  Seeds are sown in germination trays filled with vermiculite and watered regularly. When the seedlings emerge, they are pricked out into polybags of size 20 cm x 10 cm filled with soil based potting mixture and maintained under shade (Chacko et al., 2002).
Method of propagation  By seeds.
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  No information (Chacko et al., 2002).
Diseases  No information (Chacko et al., 2002).
Medicinal properties  The leaves are acrid, thermogenic, hypotensive, and are useful in odontalgia, vitiated condition of vata and hypertension. The bark and seeds are good for treating colic, diarrhoea, leprosy, fever and burning sensation.
Uses  The wood is extensively used for carving, turnery, combs, match boxes, printing blocks etc. (Chacko et al., 2002). Tender leaves, seeds and pods are eaten. A semi drying oil is obtained from seeds (Bose et al., 1998).
Wood properties  White, moderately hard, even grained. scanty, very small, pores in short radial lines. Medullary rays extremely fine, numerous. Annual rings marked by a pale line and occasionally more pores (Gamble, 1922; Bourdillon, 1908).
References  Get ...
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