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  Anogeissus latifolia (Roxb.ex DC.) Wall.ex Guill. & Perr.
Vernacular name  Mazhukanjiram, Malakanjiram, Korattykanjiram, Vellanava (Malayalam); Namai, Namme, Vekkali, Vellagagai (Tamil); Bakla, Dhauta (Hindi) (Chacko et al., 2002).
Common name  Dhavada, (Chacko et al., 2002); Bakla.
Synonyms  Conocarpus latifolia Roxb.ex DC. (Sasidharan, 2004; Chacko et al., 2002). Andersonia altissima Herb. Madr.
Family  Combretaceae
Origin  India.
Distribution  It occurs throughout India except in West Bengal, Assam, West Rajasthan and Andamans. It is also found in drier region of Sri Lanka and Nepal (FRI, 1984). In Kerala, it occurs in the dry and moist deciduous forests (Chacko et al., 2002).
Description  Slow growing, moderate to large sized deciduous tree attaining a height of 25 m and a breast height diameter of 55 cm. In favourable localities it attains a height of 30 m and a breast height diameter of 95 cm. It has feathery rounded crown and drooping branches (FRI, 1984; Chacko et al., 2002; Ram Parkash and Drake Hocking,1986).
Flowering season  March to May; May-August (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruiting season  January to February, December to May (Sen Gupta, 1937; Chacko et al., 2002).
Flowers  Minute, Greenish yellow in globose heads on short axillary peduncles. Flower heads 6-8 mm in diameter, on short peduncles often in axillary racemes; flowers yellow; calyx tube 2-winged, 1-1.6 mm; filaments about 3 mm; ovary globose; style about 3 mm (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruits  Fruit is a drupe, yellowish brown compressed, narrowly 2 winged (Chacko et al., 2002).
Fruit type  Drupe.
Seeds  Hard, mostly infertile, single seeded and wedge shaped.
Seed length  7-8 mm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed width  4-5 mm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  1,06,000 to 1,36,000 seeds/kg (FRI, 1984; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed dispersal  By Insects.
Seed Collection  Ripe fruits are beaten off the tree with a stick on to the ground, previously swept clean (FRI, 1984; Chacko et al., 2002).
Transportation of seeds  The seeds are loosely packed in polythene / cotton bags and transported ensuring air-circulation with in the stack (Chacko et al.,2002).
Seed processing  Sun-dry the seeds for a few days (Chacko et al.,2002).
Seed storage  Orthodox. Store the sun-dried seeds in gunny bags (FRI, 1984; Kumar and Bhanja, 1992; Chacko et al., 2002). Storage in metal tins or polythene containers is good to maintain viability (Aswathanarayana et al., 1997).
Viability period  No information (Chacko et al.,2002).
Seed emptiness  Very high (99%) (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed pre treatment  Soaking in cold water for 48 hrs (FRI, 1984; Kumar and Bhanja, 1992; Chacko et al., 2002). Seed germination is increased by the 3-min hot water treatment (Aswathanarayana et al., 1997).
Germination type  Epigeal (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination percentage  Very low (0.05 to 4.62) (FRI, 1984; Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination period  2 to 14 days (FRI, 1984; Rai, 1999; Chacko et al., 2002).
Nursery technique  The seeds are hard and mostly infertile. Therefore, they are sown densely on raised beds. The bed is well shaped at 44 cm above the ground. Germination is fairly quick (Chacko et al.,2002). Seedlings are raised in the nursery by transplanting the best looking germinants to 160 ml root trainers in a medium of FYM/red earth soil/sand (1:1:0.5), required about 20-30% culling in order to obtain uniformly good planting stock (Rao et al., 1998).
Method of propagation  Vegetative propagation through root cutting and by seeds.
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  No information (Chacko et al., 2002).
Diseases  Moderate (43 to 67 %). Spermoplane microflora detected includes 10 fungi and actinomycetes. Aspergillus niger, Pencillium sp., Pithomyces sp., are the important storage moulds. Alternaria alternata, Drechslera sp., Fusarium sp., Pestalotia sp., Stemphylium sp., etc. are associated with discoloured seeds (Chacko et al., 2001).
Medicinal properties  The roots are astringent, acrid and stomachic. It is useful in vitiated conditions of kapha and vata, wounds and ulcers.
Uses  The bark contains 12 to 18% tannins and it is bitter and astringent. Wood is preferred for cart-axles, shafts, frames of carts, wheels, agricultural implements, tool handle etc. A gum obtained from the bark is useful for cloth printing and dyeing. Seed germination decreases as the altitude of seed collection increases. In general, germination differences of up to 7% occurs between different altitudes (provenances) (Todaria and Negi, 1995). Improvement in germination by increasing temperature (Negi and Todaria, 1993). The best month of sowing for A. latifolia is June (Ram-Prasad et al., 1988). Trees treated with 1600 mg ethephon during April-May, when the trees were leafless enhance gum production. Ethephon in solution is applied with a syringe into 5 x 1.5 cm holes made with an increment borer 1.5-2 m above ground. One hole is made in each tree twice a year for 3 yr. The holes are made slanting downwards, and new holes are made 4-6 cm lateral to the healed region of older holes. Holes are covered with sealing wax after treatment. Ethephon application leads to schizo-lysigenous formation of gum cavities in the axial parenchyma of the sapwood, and many of the secondary xylem vessels become clogged with gummy material at the same time (Bhatt, 1987). Gum of Anogeissus latifolia produce very stable emulsions (Mukerjee and Shukla, 1965). Decrease in rainfall is accompanied by a marked increase in the germinative capacity of the seeds of A. latifolia (Prasad, 1943).
Wood properties  Wood is grey, hard, shining and smooth, with a small purplish colour, irregularly shaped. A. latifolia wood is only moderately resistant (Sen-Sarma and Chatterjee, 1968). Anogeissus latifolia is suitable for hardboard (Kumar, 1966).
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