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  Albizia chinensis (Osbeck) Merr.
Vernacular name  Pottavaka, Ponthanvaka (Malayalam) (Sasidharan, 2004); Pilivagei (Tamil) (Bose et al., 1998).
Common name  Siran, The Sau tree.
Synonyms  Mimosa chinensis Osb., A.stipulata (Roxb.) Boiv., A.marginata (Lamk.) Merr., (Sasidharan, 2004). Acacia latronum Willd., Mimosa horrida L.f., Acacia latronum (L.f.) Willd., Mimosa stipulacea Roxb. (Gamble, 1922).
Family  Leguminosae
Subfamily  Mimosoideae
Distribution  Distributed throughout the sub Himalayan valleys, Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, South India and Andamans.
Description  A large deciduous tree, with a broad, spreading and flat-topped crown.
Flowering season  March to May.
Fruiting season  January to February.
Flowers  Flowers white with pinkish filaments, in terminal and axillary panicles.
Fruits  Fruit is a pod, thin brown, flat, 7 to 12 cm long, thickened at sutures.
Fruit type  Pod.
Seeds  8 to 12 seeded.
Seed length 
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  32000 seeds/kg.
Seed dispersal  By Wind.
Seed Collection  December to February (Sandeep Sharma, 2000). Optimum time for pod collection is last week of January when their colour is grey-orange (Bhardwaj et al., 2002). The ripe pods are collected directly from the tree during the month of January and February.
Transportation of seeds 
Seed processing 
Seed storage  Seeds are treated with Aluminium phosphide and stored in poly bag at 5 +or- 1oC temperature (Nayital and Richa Mehta, 2003).
Viability period 
Seed emptiness 
Seed pre treatment  Soaking the seed in water for 48 hrs. Irrespective of temperature conditions, scarification with acid treatment give good germination in seeds of A. chinensis (Punam et al., 2002).
Germination type  Epigeous.
Germination percentage  50
Germination period 
Nursery technique  Germination, root length, collar diameter, shoot weight, root weight and stock quality are positively influenced by treatment with 10 t FYM/ha + 50 t P/ha. Where as for number of leaves and leaf area it is with 10 t FYM/ha + 25 t P/ha (Vipan Guleria et al., 2006).
Method of propagation  By seed and stump planting.
Vegetative propagation 
Medicinal properties  The bark yield tannin, its infusion is used as a lotion for cuts, scabies and other skin diseases.
Uses  The wood is used as a timber and it yields an insoluble gum which is used in Nepal for sizing paper. It is used for box making especially tea boxes and packing cases. The leaves and twigs are used as a fodder.
Wood properties  Wood is soft, sapwood large, white; heartwood brown, generally not durable, shining. Annual rings are distinctly marked. Pores large, often oval and subdivided, very prominent on a longitudinal section. Medullary rays fine, short, reddish, not very distinct (Gamble, 1922). Most of the properties are observed to be significantly higher than that of T. grandis. The suitability indices indicate that the timber is superior to teak in many aspects. Based on the strength properties it is suitable for use in construction, door frames and shutters, tool handles, packing cases and crates, dunnage pallet, furniture and cabinet making, and flooring (Jain et al., 2002).
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