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  Antiaris toxicaria (Pers.) Lesch.
Vernacular name  Aranthal, Maravuri (Malayalam) (Sasidharan, 2004); Aranthelli, Alli, Nettavil (Tamil); Jasund, Jungli lakuch (Hindi) (Bose et al., 1998).
Common name  Upas tree (Bose et al., 1998).
Synonyms  Antiaris saccidora, Ipo toxicaria Pers. (Sasidharan, 2004). Antiaris innoxia Bl. (Gamble, 1922).
Family  Moraceae
Distribution  In Kerala it occurs in Wyanad, Palghat, Idukki, Pathanamthitta and almost throughout the state, mainly in highlands.
Description  A very tall tree, up to 50 m high, trunk often buttressed; young shoots, petioles and midrib velvety (Bose et al., 1998).
Flowering season  September to October (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruiting season  January to May, December to February (Bose et al., 1998).
Flowers  Flowers are greenish, monoecious, with male flowers in axillary receptacles. Male flowers: crowded on the surface of flat pedunculate and usually fascicled receptacle supported by imbricating bracts; sepals 3-4; stamens 3-8; female flower: solitary, enclosed in pear-shaped involucre of numerous confluent bracts; ovary adnate to involucre (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruits  Fruit is a drupe, red crimpson when ripe, stalked, turning finally black and fleshy.
Fruit type  Drupe.
Seeds  Seed 1.5 cm long with crataceous, hard testa and thin endocarp.
Seed length  1.5 cm
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight 
Seed dispersal 
Seed Collection 
Transportation of seeds 
Seed processing 
Seed storage  It can be stored in wet sand at a low temperature or under ventilated conditions (Guan ZhiBin et al., 2003).
Viability period  Thirty percent water content maintain the viability of the seeds (Guan ZhiBin et al., 2003).
Seed emptiness 
Seed pre treatment 
Germination type 
Germination percentage  Germination rate of fresh seeds 94 +or-6%. After 5 months of storage in wet sand at low temperature or under ventilated conditions, the seeds recorded 82 and 36% germination rate, respectively (Guan ZhiBin et al.,2003).
Germination period 
Nursery technique 
Method of propagation 
Vegetative propagation 
Medicinal properties  The bark is medicinal as a cardiac, circulatory, intestinal stimulant, and against uterine contractions. Seeds are used as a febrifuge and for curing dysentery also. Latex is also used as an arrow poison, very toxic (Bose et al., 1998).
Uses  The wood is suitable for making packing cases, splints and paper pulp. The fibre is used to make sacks, garments, cordage and in mat weaving. Maravuri, a type of cloth from the bark of Aranjali [Antiaris toxicaria (Pers.) Lesch.] is prepared by the Muthuvan tribes of Idukki district by removing the cork with a knife and softening the bark by beating with wooden hammers and cured by sun drying. It is used as bed spread (Johncy Manithottam et al., 2002). Toxicarioside A is derived from latex of the species is a dart poison (Carter et al., 1997).
Wood properties  Wood is white, soft and even grained. Pores are large and moderate sized.
References  Get ...
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