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  Calamus brandisii Becc.
Vernacular name  Kalakkadan, Vanthal (Malayalam), Vanthai (Tamil) (Chacko et al., 2002).
Common name 
Family  Arecaceae / Palmae
Distribution  Endemic to the Western Ghats and occurs in the evergreen forests from 700 to 1,200 m (Renuka, 2000; Chacko et al., 2002). It is also found in Thirunelveli and Travancore.
Description  Clustering small diameter cane growing more than 10 m long. The cane with sheath measures 1.5 cm in diameter and without sheath, measures 0.8 cm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Flowering season 
Fruiting season  March to May.
Flowers  Unisexual, male spadix very long, flagelliferous spathes are elongated, tubular, female flowers scattered slender branches of the spadix.
Fruits  Fruits are ovate, scales are brown with dark brown border. Measures 1.8 x 0.8 cm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Fruit type 
Seed length 
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  3,800 to 4,500 seeds/kg (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed dispersal 
Seed Collection  Fruits are collected from plants when they attain golden yellow colour, by slowly pulling down the fruit-bearing branch (Chacko et al., 2002).
Transportation of seeds  Fruits are transported to the nursery immediately after collection. It is advisable to carry them in bunches in moist gunny bags (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed processing  The fruits are de-pulped by soaking in water for 24 to 48 hrs and removing the fleshy disintegrated pericarp by rubbing between the palms. The seeds are then cleaned by washing in water several times and stored in moist sawdust so that seeds do not dry up (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed storage  Recalcitrant. Seed storage is not recommended. Seeds store well in moist sawdust for two weeks (Chacko et al., 2002).
Viability period  Two weeks (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed emptiness  No information (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed pre treatment  No pretreatment, other than de-pulping, is needed (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination type  Adjacent ligular (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination percentage  80 to 90 (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination period  30 to 120 days (Chacko et al., 2002).
Nursery technique  Seeds are sown in raised nursery beds filled with soil-sand mixture. After sowing, seeds are covered with a thin layer of sawdust (Chacko et al., 2002).
Method of propagation 
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  No information (Chacko et al., 2002).
Diseases  No information (Chacko et al., 2002).
Medicinal properties  The roots are astringent, acrid, bitter, cooling, febrifuge and tonic. They are useful in vitiated conditions of pitta, cough, dysentery, leprosy, skin diseases.
Uses  Climber. Canes slender. It produce best quality small diameter cane, extensively used for furniture making (Chacko et al., 2002).
Wood properties 
References  Get ...
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