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  Dalbergia latifolia Roxb.
Vernacular name  Veeti, Eetti (Malayalam); Eetti, Iruppottu thodagathi (Tamil), Bilayata shisham(Hindi), Todagatti, Karimbeetti (Kannada) (Chacko et al., 2002).
Common name  Rosewood, Bombay black wood (Chacko et al., 2002), East Indian rosewood.
Synonyms  Dalbergia emarginata Roxb., Amerimnon latifolium (Roxb.) Kuntze (Chacko et al., 2002).
Family  Leguminosae
Subfamily  Faboideae.
Distribution  It occurs in the Sub-Himalayan tract to Bihar, Sikkim, Orissa, Bengal, Chota Nagpur and Central, Western and Southern India in moist deciduous forests up to 1350 m. In Kerala, it occurs in semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests up to 1200 m (Chacko et al., 2002).
Description  A large deciduous or nearly evergreen tree, up to 30 m high with cylindrical, fairly straight bole and full, rounded crown (Bose et al., 1998).
Flowering season  April (North and Central India) January-February (Kerala), April-May (drier parts of Maharashtra).
Fruiting season  Ripens in December to May (Chacko et al., 2002).
Flowers  Pure white in lax panicle, 8 mm long, on pedicels nearly as long as calyx tube, in short axillary much-branched panicles. Stamens 9, monadelphous (Sahni, 2000; Bose et al., 1998).
Fruits  Fruit is a pod. Each pod contains 2 to 4 compressed, reniform, deep brown to black seeds (Chacko et al., 2002). Flat, indehiscent pods, firm and strap-shaped, oblong-lanceolate, 3-6 cm long (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruit type  Pod.
Seeds  Reddish brown, hard smooth, shiny, testa coriaceous, deep brown to black seeds (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed length  5-7 mm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed width  3-5 mm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed thickness  1-2 mm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed weight  21,000 to 40,000 seeds/kg (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed dispersal 
Seed Collection  Ripe dark brown coloured pods are collected from trees by lopping off the branches (Chacko et al., 2002).
Transportation of seeds  Pods collected in cotton bags are packed. The bags are loosely stacked during transport (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed processing  The pods are dried in the sun and seeds extracted manually by crushing the pods, or pods are dried in oven at 50oC for 3.5 h and seeds extracted by crushing the pods. Winnowing to clean the seeds (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed storage  Probably orthodox. The pods are stored in gunny bags and earthen pots for six months. Seeds imperfectly dried before storage usually loses viability in relatively short period (Chacko et al., 2002).
Viability period  Seed is viable up to six months (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed emptiness  Moderate (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed pre treatment  Soaking in cold water for 24 hrs before sowing will help germination (Chacko et al., 2002). IAA at lower concentrations (1-20 ppm) increase both germination and plant percentages by up to 10% (Tiwari et al., 1999).
Germination type  Epigeous(Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination percentage  80 (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination period  7 to 21 days (Chacko et al., 2002).
Nursery technique  Seeds are sown in germination trays in vermiculite and watered. The seedlings are pricked out into polythene bags of size 22.5 x 17.5 cm filled with soil based potting mixture, when they are about 5 to 6 cm high. Seedling collar rot caused by Rhizoctonia solani occurs in nursery, which can be controlled by the application of fungicide, carboxin (1.0%) (Chacko et al., 2002). Seedlings grown in root trainers with potting media comprising 30% sand, 10% soil and 60% compost exhibit excellent growth (Srivastava et al., 2002).
Method of propagation  Tissue culture is successful.
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  High (Chacko et al., 2002).
Diseases  High (44-98%). Eight fungi and a bacterium were recorded. Apart from storage moulds, Fusarium moniliforme and bacteria were causing damage to seeds (Mohanan and Geetha Varma, 2001; Chacko et al., 2002).
Medicinal properties  Parts of the tree are reported to be useful as stimulant and appetiser and also used for the treatment of dyspepsia, diarrhoea, leprosy, obesity etc. (Bose et al., 1998).
Uses  The wood is used for furniture, cabinet work, carving, ornamental ply-boards and veeners. The wood is too expensive for general constructional work but also used for posts, rafters, doors and window frames (Chacko et al., 2002). Leaves are used as a fodder and bark contains tannin. It is grown in coffee plantation as a shade tree (Bose et al., 1998). Dalbergia latifolia can tolerate salts up to 6.5 dS/m at germination stage (Ashutosh-Sharma and Kukadia, 2003).
Wood properties  The sapwood is yellowish white with a pinkish cast. The heartwood which is sharply differentiated from the sapwood, varies in colour from light purplish brown to dark purple with darker streaks giving rise to an attractive figure. No distinct annual rings. Pores moderate sized to large, often subdivided, irregular, scanty, in patches of light tissue, which patches are generally joined by narrow, white, wavy interrupted concentric lines. Medullary rays fine, numerous, uniform, equidistant and very short (Gamble, 1922).
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