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  Calophyllum polyanthum Wall. ex Choisy
Vernacular name  Kattupunna, Punnapai, Poon-spar (Malayalam) (Sasidharan, 2004); Kattupinnai (Tamil).
Common name  Spar tree, Poon (Gamble, 1922), Poonspar tree.
Synonyms  C. elatum Bedd., C. tomentosum auct. non Wt. (Sasidharan, 2004).
Family  Clusiaceae
Distribution  Evergreen and semievergreen forests of Western Ghats from North Kanara to Kanyakumari and Sri Lanka. Seen in the Western ghats, from North Kanara southwards. It is found up to 1670 m in Anamalai and Palani Hills.
Description  An evergreen tree of enormous height. A very large evergreen tree with a straight cylindrical stem.
Flowering season  In North Kanara the flowers appear in January to February.
Fruiting season  May to June; the fruit ripens in June to July.
Flowers  White, scented, fragrant, axillary and terminal panicles, sepals 4, petals 4, oblong.
Fruits  Ovoid, 2 cm long, pointed. Ovoid drupe about 2.5 cm long, smooth, apiculate, dark purple.
Fruit type  Drupe.
Seed length 
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight 
Seed dispersal 
Seed Collection 
Transportation of seeds 
Seed processing 
Seed storage  C. polyanthum seeds are considered typical recalcitrant seeds (He HuiYing and Song SongQuan, 2003).
Viability period 
Seed emptiness 
Seed pre treatment  Temperature fluctuation treatment and removing the seed coats by partially excising the cotyledons improve the germination percentage and germination rate of seeds (He-HuiYing and Song-SongQuan, 2003).
Germination type  Hypogeal.
Germination percentage 
Germination period 
Nursery technique 
Method of propagation  By seeds. Germinates early in the rain soon after falling.
Vegetative propagation 
Medicinal properties  The leaves of the plant are soaked in water to make an eyewash for removing foreign objects from the eyes. An infusion of the leaves is ingested for diarrhoea.
Uses  An excellent wood, strong and good. It is largely used for spars, rafters, and sometimes for building boats and canoes. The seeds give an orange coloured oil propably used for burning. The fatty acids in the seed oil of Calophyllum polyanthum has linoleic acid (38.75%), palmitic acid (22.42%), oleic acid (22.11%) and stearic acid (9.81%) (Na-Zhi, 2005). The hydrocarbon fractions were also analysed to determine the type of isoprene present (Augustus et al., 2001). Ethanolic extract of the seeds of Calophyllum polyanthum contains pyranocoumarin diastereoisomers, calopolyanolides C (1) and D (2) (Ma-ChunHui, et al., 2004). Seeds of C. polyanthum are found to have two dihydrocoumarins named calopolyanolide A and calopolyanolide B together with calanolide E2, voleneol and gallic acid (Chen-JiJun et al., 2001).
Wood properties  Wood is similar in structure to that of the other species, reddish brown, moderately hard, streaked on the vertical section by the dark concentric lines and the pores. Pores large, scanty, in oblique strings. Medullary rays fine, very numerous, bent round the pores. Concentric lines long or short, interrupted dark (Gamble, 1922).
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