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  Cochlospermum religiosum (L.) Alston
Vernacular name  Apparutakka, Panyara, Parei-panji, Apakudukka (Malayalam), Kongillam, Kongu, Elluva (Tamil) (Gamble, 1922), Kondagogu (Telugu).
Common name  Buttercup tree, Torchwood tree, Yellow silk cotton tree (Bose et al., 1998).
Synonyms  Cochlospermum gossypium DC., Bombax religiosum Linn. (Sasidharan, 2004); Bombax gossypium Roxb.
Family  Cochlospermaceae
Distribution  It is found in India, Sri Lanka, Malyasia. Cultivated near temples in Sri Lanka and India. In India, Westerm Sub-Himalayan tract up to 900 m, plains of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and in the Deccan east of the Western Ghats. In Kerala it is seen in Calicut and Palghat Districts; restricted to the highlands of northern Kerala (Sahni, 2000).
Description  A soft wooded deciduous tree, up to about 10 m height (Sahni, 2000).
Flowering season  January to March, February to April (Sahni, 2000; Bourdillon, 1908).
Fruiting season  April to June, March to July (Sahni, 2000); April to May (Bourdillon, 1908).
Flowers  Large golden yellow, 7.5 to 13 cm across, short, in simple racemes or loosely branched terminal panicles. Sepals 5, unequal, downy, silky outside, petals 5 cm long, notched, broadly obovate (Sahni, 2000).
Fruits  Fruit is a capsule 5 to 10 cm long, obovate, 5-valved, furrowed, leathery brown, pendulous, pear-shaped (Sahni, 2000).
Fruit type  Capsule.
Seeds  Brownish, 0.4 cm long, reniform to cochleate, wooly-hairy. Seeds covered with silky hairs.
Seed length 
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  13400 seeds/Kg.
Seed dispersal  Wind.
Seed Collection 
Transportation of seeds 
Seed processing 
Seed storage  Fruits are collected by lopping the branches or from the floor, kept in open for sometime and then the seeds are separated by trashing.
Viability period  Seed remains viable for 1 to 2 months.
Seed emptiness 
Seed pre treatment  Soaked in warm water for 12 to 24 hrs before sowing.
Germination type 
Germination percentage  8
Germination period  25
Nursery technique  Seeds are broadcasted in primary beds in June and seedlings are pricked out to polythene bags when six months old.
Method of propagation  By seed.
Vegetative propagation 
Medicinal properties  Medicinaly, the gum is sweetish, cooling and sedative - is useful against cough. The dried leaves and flowers are also reported to be stimulants. Ethanol, acetone and chloroform extracts possess antibacterial and antifungal activities (Goud et al., 2002).
Uses  The brown seed oil is used in soap industry and the bark yields a fibre used in cordage. The tree yields a gum and it is used for binding books. The floss from the tree is used for stuffing pillows (Bose et al., 1998).
Wood properties  The wood is white, turning brown on exposure. It is extremely light, soft and spongy, and disintegrate into loose bundle of fibres on drying and is very coarse textured. Pores large, scanty, often subdivided into compartments. Medullary rays broad, visible on a radial section as long rough plates (Gamble, 1922).
References  Get ...
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