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  Caesalpinia coriaria Willd.
Vernacular name  Dividivi (Malayalam), Divi divi (English) (Chacko et al.,2002). Inkimaram (Tamil), Divi- divi (Telungu).
Common name  American sumac, Dividivi (Bose et al., 1998).
Family  Leguminosae
Subfamily  Caesalpinioideae
Origin  South America (Sasidharan, 2004).
Distribution  Exotic from the lowlands of Central America and north of South America. In India it was introduced in 1834 in Calcutta. Now widely cultivated throughout the country as shade tree , but now got naturalised in the hedges along roads and in dry thorn forests (Chacko et al., 2002).
Description  A small or medium-sized evergreen unarmed tree, attaining a height of 9 m with a dense low spreading crown, somewhat similar to babul (Acacia nilotica) in appearance. Trunk short, and often crooked (Troup, 1921; FRI, 1983; Chacko et al., 2002; Bose et al., 1998).
Flowering season  May to June (Troup,1921);September to October. Sweet-scented flowers appear at intervals in summer and rains which are visited by numerous bees and butterflies (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruiting season  August or cold season (Troup, 1921).
Flowers  Small, whitish or yellowish sweet scented, 2-2.5 mm across, in short dense terminal panicle, petals 5 mm long (Troup, 1921; Bose et al., 1998).
Fruits  Pods are glabrous, without prickles, 5.0 to 7.5 cm long, 1.8 cm broad and 0.3 cm thick, in different shades of brown to black, spirally twisted while drying (Troup, 1921).
Fruit type  Pod.
Seeds  Encloses about 7 brown to black seeds.
Seed length  0.58 mm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed width  0.3 mm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  4,200 to 1,700 seeds/kg (Kindt et al., 1997; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed dispersal 
Seed Collection  Pods are collected from the ground. It is not necessary to collect the pods from the tree as plenty of pods are available on the ground during the season (Chacko et al., 2002).
Transportation of seeds  Pods are collected in cotton/ plastic/ polythene bags. No special care is suggested while transporting (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed processing  Dry the pods under the sun and the seeds are extracted by hand or using a mechanical scarifier (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed storage  Orthodox (Kindt et al.,1997; CABI, 1998). Seeds can be stored in a dry place in sealed tins, plastic containers, polythene bags for more than a year (Chacko et al., 2002).
Viability period  Seeds retain viability for more than a year in sealed tins (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed emptiness  Low (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed pre treatment  Soak the seeds in boiled water for about 1 to 2 min followed by soaking in cold water for 24 hrs (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination type  Epigeal (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination percentage  60 to 80 (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination period  Germination commences on the third day of sowing (Chacko et al., 2002).
Nursery technique  Pretreated seeds are sown in germination trays filled with vermiculite and watered regularly. When the seedlings emerge, they are pricked out into polythene bags of size 20 x 10 cm filled with soil-based potting mixture and kept under shade till they establish (Chacko et al., 2002).
Method of propagation  By seeds.
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  Low (Chacko et al., 2002).
Diseases  Low (Chacko et al., 2002).
Medicinal properties  Pods are astringent and often used to relieve periodic fever, bark is also used in similar ailment (Bose et al., 1998).
Uses  One of the richest tannin bearing trees in India, also an avenue species. Timber is hard and very heavy (Bose et al., 1998).
Wood properties  Wood hard, heavy with fine texture. Sapwood greyish white or pale yellow and the heartwood is very small, is deep purple or nearly black and close grained. It is diffuse porous wood with very small, moderately numerous pores. Pores small, scanty, enclosed in pale tissue which spreads into concentric interrupted often anastomizing narrow bands. Medullary rays fine, white, narrow, regualr and conspicuous. Annual rings distinct (Gamble, 1922).
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