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  Annona squamosa L.
Vernacular name  Sitappalam, Attaccakka, Atta (Malayalam); Sitappalam, Atta seethappazham (Tamil); Seetaphal, Sharifa (Hindi) (Bose et al., 1998).
Common name  Custard apple, Sugar apple (Bose et al., 1998).
Family  Annonaceae
Origin  Tropical America (Sasidharan, 2004).
Distribution  The tree is cultivated almost all over India, but mainly in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Assam and Orissa.
Description  A small tree above 6 m height.
Flowering season  March to July, April to July (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruiting season  September to October; August to November (Bose et al., 1998).
Flowers  Flowers yellowish green, solitary, borne in short extra axillary branches, leaf-opposed or 2-4 on short extra axillary branchlets. Flowers greenish, on short drooping stalk opposite a leaf, single or in pairs; petals thick and fleshy, 2.5 cm long; stamens many, crowded, surrounding the numerous stigmas (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruits  Fruits 5 to 10 cm in diameter, yellowish green, globose with well marked areoles easily breaking into large pieces, irregularly tubercled, containing sweet, white custard-like pulp of delicate flavour and many, large black seeds (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruit type 
Seeds  Seeds hard, brownish black, smooth.
Seed length 
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  400 to 500 seeds/kg.
Seed dispersal 
Seed Collection 
Transportation of seeds 
Seed processing 
Seed storage 
Viability period 
Seed emptiness 
Seed pre treatment  Freshly collected seeds are immersed in boiling water which is allowed to cool overnight. Seeds are soaked in 1% sodium nitrate for 24 h before sowing in raised beds (Ratan and Reddy, 2003). 50 ppm GA3 and 100 ppm GA3 treatments give 75% and 44% germination respectively (Stenzel et al., 2003).
Germination type 
Germination percentage  70 to 80
Germination period 
Nursery technique 
Method of propagation  By seeds.
Vegetative propagation 
Medicinal properties  The roots are powerful purgative and are useful in mental depression and spinal disorders. They are useful in anaemia, burning sensation, vomiting, cough, malignant tomours, and for strengthening muscles.
Uses  The seed powder mixed with mung seed in a ratio of 0.5:2 is used as an insecticide. Powdered seeds and leaves are used as vermicides and to kill lice on cattle and worms in sores. Custard apple is a delicious table fruit with pleasant aroma. It is also used in ice cream and other milk products (Bose et al., 1998).
Wood properties  Wood is soft, close grained, greyish white with numerous firm, clear, wavy cross-bars and weighs about 600 kg/m3. Pores moderate sized, scanty, subdivided or in short radial lines. Medullary rays moderate sized (Gamble, 1922).
References  Get ...
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