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  Bridelia retusa (Linn.) Spreng.
Vernacular name  Kaini, Mulkkayini (Malayalam), Kaj, Khaja (Hindi), Mullu maruthu, Mullu vengai (Tamil) (Bose et al., 1998).
Common name  Muljane
Synonyms  Cluytia spinosa Willd. (Troup, 1921), Bridelia squamosa Lam. (Bose et al., 1998).
Family  Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily 
Origin 
Distribution  Throughout India in mixed deciduous forests. Widely distributed in India - Sub-Himalayan tracts in Sikkim, Meghalaya and central and south India; Myanmar (Bose et al., 1998).
Description  A deciduous, middle-sized tree, 10 to 15 m high; young shoots spinous (Bose et al., 1998).
Flowering season  May to August (Troup, 1921). April to July (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruiting season  Ripens during January to February (Troup, 1921).
Flowers  Small yellow monoecious or dioecious flower. Flowers dioecious, yellow, about 6 mm in diameter, in lateral sessile, clusters and in long spikes, axillary or terminal, of which males very slender; calyx 4 mm in diameter, tube pubescent, lobes glabrous; petals of male orbicular crenate; of female subspathulate (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruits  Fruit is globose, fleshy sweetish drupe, about the size of a pea, purple-black, seated on a hard enlarged calyx, dark purple when ripe, edible, cocci dehiscent (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruit type  Drupe.
Seeds  1 or 2 seeds with fairly thick bony shells. The seeds have brownish papery testa.
Seed length 
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  1588 - 1764 / 100 g.
Seed dispersal  Birds like parrots, hornbills, green pigeon and other birds (Troup, 1921).
Seed Collection 
Transportation of seeds 
Seed processing 
Seed storage 
Viability period 
Seed emptiness 
Seed pre treatment  The seeds should be soaked in cold water for 24 hrs.The seeds after sterilizing with mercuric chloride and soaking in solutions of IAA, IBA and GA at 5, 10, 20 or 100 ppm for 24 or 48 h. 20% IAA will give best results (Chathurvedi and Bajpai,1999).
Germination type  Epigeous (Troup, 1921).
Germination percentage  75. The IAA treatments give 72 to 75% (Chathurvedi and Bajpai,1999).
Germination period 
Nursery technique  Seedlings can be most successfully raised in the nursery if the beds are kept shaded from the sun in the heat of the day and regularly watered (Troup, 1921).
Method of propagation  By seeds.
Vegetative propagation 
Pests 
Diseases 
Medicinal properties  The roots are crushed and used for treating stomach aches, tapeworms, diarrhoea, headaches, and sore joints. The leaf sap is used for sore eyes.
Uses  The bark is used for tannin (Troup, 1921). The wood is of good quality and colour and it is used for rafters, posts, floor boards, cart-shafts, wheels and agricultural implements (Bose et al., 1998). Fruits are edible and leaves are used as fodder. Cyanogenic glycosides occur in the young leaves of Bridelia retusa (Mali and Borges, 2003). Solvent extracts of the stem bark of Bridelia retusa show fungicidal activity against Cladosporium cladosporioides (Lalith-Jayasinghe et al., 2003).
Wood properties  Wood moderately hard to hard, grey to olive brown, close-grained, seasons well. Annual rings are marked by pale lines (Gamble, 1922).
References  Get ...
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