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  Aleurites moluccana (L.) Willd.
Vernacular name  Akkrottu, Akshotam (Malayalam); Nattakarottu (Tamil), Candle nut tree (English).
Common name  Jungle akhrot, Candle nut tree, Indian walnut.
Synonyms  A. javanica Forst.
Family  Euphorbiaceae
Origin  Indo-Malaysian region.
Distribution  Native to the Indo - Malaysian region, but now widely distributed throughout the tropics. It is naturalized in India and is found in a wild state in South India and Assam.
Description  25 m high with soft wood. An evergreen tree of medium height, up to 15 m; shoots, young leaves, petioles and inflorescence clothed with grey, stellate tomentum (Bose et al., 1998).
Flowering season  March to May.
Fruiting season  During rainy season.
Flowers  Flowers white, shortly pedicelled in tomentose cymes. Unisexual, monoecious, white, in large, terminal cymose panicles; calyx 2-3-lobed, velvety; petals 5, 6-10 mm long; male flowers: stamens 15-20, on hairy receptacle; ovary 2-celled (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruits  Moderate sized globose, green dry drupe up to 5 cm long with rough mesocarp and containing a single seed.
Fruit type  Drupe.
Seeds  Seeds are contained within a hard, black, rough shell elliptical in shape.
Seed length 
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  100 to 120 seeds/kg.
Seed dispersal 
Seed Collection 
Transportation of seeds 
Seed processing 
Seed storage 
Viability period 
Seed emptiness 
Seed pre treatment 
Germination type 
Germination percentage  80
Germination period 
Nursery technique 
Method of propagation  By seeds and vegetative method.
Vegetative propagation 
Medicinal properties  The plant is used to treat pain in the bones and weakness after child birth. The leaves are used to treat constipation and food poison. Bark is used to treat wounds. A decoction of the leaves is used in treating cough, diarrhoea, pains in the chest and hernia. Benzene extract of the heartwood contains phorbol diester, (13-O-myristyl-20-O-acetyl-12-deoxyphorbol (1)), hentriacontane, 6,7-dimethoxycoumarin, 5,6,7-trimethoxycoumarin and beta -sitostenone (Satyanarayana et al., 2001). Methanol leaf extract of Aleurites moluccana has lipid-lowering action through inhibition of hepatic cholesterol biosynthesis and reduction of lipid absorption in the intestine (Pedrosa et al., 2002). The seed oil of A. moluccana contains high concentrations of the fatty acids 18:2 (43.8 mol%) and 18:3 (25.8 mol%) and gamma-tocopherol (Sotheeswaran et al., 1994).
Uses  Fruit contains alkaloids and seeds contain lipids, proteins and other chemicals.
Wood properties  Wood is soft and is used for making packing cases. It is reported to be suitable for match sticks and as a raw material for pulp.
References  Get ...
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