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  Cassia siamea Lamk.
Vernacular name  Manja konna (Malayalam ), Manje - konne, Ponavari, simaivari (Tamil) (Troup, 1921) (Bose et al., 1998).
Common name  Yellow cassia, Kassod tree, Ironwood tree, Siamese senna (Bose et al., 1998).
Synonyms  Cassia florida Vahl., Senna sumatrana Roxb. (Troup, 1921).
Family  Leguminosae
Subfamily  Caesalpinioideae
Origin  Myanmar (Sasidharan, 2004).
Distribution  The tree is distributed in Indonesia; Malaysia; India; Sri Lanka and Myanmar. It is now grown in most of the tropical countries (Bose et al., 1998).
Description  A moderate sized evergreen tree, height 15-18 m, with a dense crown, trunk often short or medium in length and not uniformly straight (Bose et al., 1998).
Flowering season  Flowering season is from June to December, but the best display is in October (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruiting season  Ripens towards the end of the hot season. Fruits are produced abundantly for several months.
Flowers  Flowers yellow, up to 3 cm in diameter, in large panicles at the ends of the branches with almost equal five petals, 20 to 40 cm long; sepals downy, very obtuse; stamens 7, almost equal, 3 absent, or small or sterile (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruits  Pod flat 15 to 25 cm long soft and ribbon like when young, purplish and brown when ripe, apicule deciduous, thickened at suture, indented between the seeds (Troup, 1921).
Fruit type  Pod.
Seeds  Many minute velvety seeds.
Seed length 
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  35000 - 37000 seeds/kg.
Seed dispersal 
Seed Collection  Ripe pods are collected from the trees during March to April and seeds are extracted, cleaned, graded and stored (Edwards and Naithani, 1999).
Transportation of seeds 
Seed processing 
Seed storage  Orthodox (Edwards and Naithani, 1999). Use of storage media help to increase the percentage of seed viability (Khomane and Bhosale, 2003).
Viability period 
Seed emptiness 
Seed pre treatment  Scarification with conc. sulphuric acid for 10 to 30 min can result in 90% or more germination in 6 days. Soaking in cold or warm water can also be advantages to some extent (Edwards and Naithani,1999). 100% germination is obtained with 400 ppm of GA3 (Ghyare, 2005). The seeds exhibit physical dormancy due to hard seed coat. Dormancy in C. siamea is terminated by soaking of seeds in conc. sulphuric acid for 10-15 minutes; wet heat at 100oC for 30-60 seconds; dry heat at 80-100oC for 5-10 min, respectively (Agboola, 2005).
Germination type  Epigeal.
Germination percentage  98
Germination period 
Nursery technique  The growth of seedlings is very fast. Either the seed can be put into polythene bags directly or sown in mother bed. Later pricked out to the polybags (Edwards and Naithani, 1999).
Method of propagation  By seeds.
Vegetative propagation 
Pests 
Diseases 
Medicinal properties  Stem bark extract of Cassia siamea has antiplasmodial property (Ajaiyeoba et al., 2008).
Uses  Ornamental plant, avenue tree. Wood pulp is suitable for paper. The flowers eaten in curries. The leaves are used as manure. The heart wood is dark brown and often used for wood works including furniture (Bose et al., 1998).
Wood properties  The sapwood is yellowish white or pale greyish brown and the heartwood is dark brown to black. It is hard and heavy wood with shallowly interlocked grain and coarse texture. It is a diffuse porous wood with indistinct growth rings. Pores large and moderate sized, scanty, embedded in pale, nearly continuous, broad, wavy bands of soft texture, which alternate with very hard almost black bands of very close texture. Medullary rays fine, scanty, irregular (Gamble, 1922).
References  Get ...
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