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  Xylia xylocarpa (Roxb.) Taub.
Vernacular name  Kadamaram, Irul, Irumullu (Malayalam) (Sasidharan, 2004), Aruyapalam (Tamil), Soriva (Chacko et al., 2002), Jambu, Suria (Hindi) (Bose et al., 1998).
Common name  Irul (Chacko et al., 2002), Indian iron tree, The Iron wood of Burma, Irul wood (Bose et al., 1998).
Synonyms  Mimosa xylocarpa Roxb. (Sasidharan, 2004; Chacko et al., 2002), X. dolabriformis.
Family  Leguminosae
Subfamily  Mimosoideae
Origin 
Distribution  Occurs in the central and peninsular India from Maharashtra to Orissa and Southern West Bengal. It is common in the deciduous forests throughout the Western Ghats (FRI, 1983; Chacko et al., 2002). Common in the moist region of South India, Orissa, parts of central India; Myanmar; Malaysia (Bose et al., 1998).
Description  Moderately fast growing, medium sized to large deciduous tree, up to 25 m high and a breast height diameter of 86 cm (FRI, 1983; Chacko et al., 2002).
Flowering season  March to April (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruiting season  January to July (Sen Gupta, 1937; Chacko et al., 2002). Mature in cold months (Bose et al., 1998; Ramesh, 2003).
Flowers  Pale yellow in long globose pedunculate heads; calyx tubular, wider at base; petals linear, cohering at the base; anthers with small deciduous glands (Bose et al., 1998; Ramesh, 2003).
Fruits  Pods, thick, woody, flat, curved, oblong, falcate, compressed, dehiscent 10-15 cm long, 5-6 cm wide at broadest part, 2 valved, contain 6 to 10 brown coloured, oblong, smooth, surfaced seeds (Bose et al., 1998; Chacko et al., 2002; Ramesh, 2003).
Fruit type  Pod.
Seeds  Seeds 6 to 10, compressed, oblong, ellipsoid, test brown, shining (Bose et al., 1998).
Seed length  1.3-1.6 cm (FRI, 1985; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed width  0.6-0.9 cm (FRI, 1985; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  3,175 to 3,880 seeds/kg (Sen Gupta, 1937); 4000 seeds/kg (Luna, 1996; Chacko et al.,2002).
Seed dispersal 
Seed Collection  Ripe pods are collected from the trees before they dehisce. Dehiscence of a few pods on a tree is an indication of seed collection time (Chacko et al., 2002).
Transportation of seeds  Pods are collected in cotton/Jute bags, packed and transported to the processing centre (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed processing  Pods are spread out in cotton bags in the sun to open and the seeds are collected (FRI, 1983; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed storage  Orthodox (Kindt et al., 1997). Seeds are dried and stored in gunny bags or air-tight bins in dry places (Dent, 1948; Chacko et al., 2002).
Viability period  Under natural conditions seeds are viable for about an year (Dent, 1948; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed emptiness  Low (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed pre treatment  Not required (Kumar and Bhanja 1992; Chacko et al., 2002). Soaking in cold water also improve germination (Ramesh, 2003).
Germination type  Epigeal (FRI, 1983; Chacko et al.,2002).
Germination percentage  90, 70 to 99 (Sen Gupta, 1937; Chacko et al.,2002).
Germination period  4 to 11 days (Sen Gupta 1937; Chacko et al., 2002).
Nursery technique  Nursery raised seedlings do not stand planting out well owing to injury to root. Direct sowing in well-loosened patches at 2 m intervals in rows 3 m apart is advocated. Plantation of this species are not common as its natural regeneration is very good (Kumar and Bhanja, 1992; Chacko et al., 2002).
Method of propagation  By seeds. The species is well regenerated from root suckers and coppices.
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  Low infestation by an unidentified bruchid borer (Chacko et al., 2002).
Diseases  High (50 to 81 %). Seeds are harboured by a rich microflora. 27 fungi belonging to 29 genera, bacteria and actinomycetes are recorded. Storage fungi like Aspergillus sp., Penicillium sp., Chaetomium globosum, Trichoderma sp., etc. are the predominant ones. Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Cylindrocladium quinqueseptatum, Botryodiplodia theobromae are the field fungi recorded on seeds (Mohammed Ali and Sharma, 1996; Mohanan and Sharma, 1991; Chacko et al., 2002).
Medicinal properties  Decoction of bark is given in gonorrhoea and diarrhoea, also to stop vomiting and as a vermifuge. Seeds yield a fatty oil (Bose et al., 1998).
Uses  Timber, charcoal - highly priced in iron smelters. Fruits yield a fatty oil. Wood is used for heavy constructional work and house building (Bose et al., 1998).
Wood properties  It is medium textured, straight grained and ringed, porus in nature. It is reddish brown coloured, hard and durable (Gopikumar et al., 2003).
References  Get ...
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