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  Strychnos potatorum Linn. f.
Vernacular name  Nirmali (Hindi), Tettran (Bose et al., 1998), Tettancottia (Tamil), Tettamaram, Thettanparil kanjiram (Malayalam).
Common name  Clearing nut tree (Bose et al., 1998).
Family  Loganiaceae
Distribution  Within India it is found in the Central, Eastern and Peninsular regions of the country. Found also in Central and Western India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar (Bourdillon, 1908).
Description  A small to moderate sized deciduous or evergreen tree up to 15 m high; trunk often fluted (Bose et al., 1998).
Flowering season  February to March. February to April (Bourdillon, 1908; Bose et al., 1998).
Fruiting season  November to March (Bourdillon, 1908). Fruits remain on the tree for several months (Bose et al., 1998).
Flowers  Small, white, fragrant, in axillary cymes; corolla tube 3-5 mm, hardly twice as long as broad, hairy within, nearly glabrous in the throat; anther cells oblong, glabrous; stigma small, capitate (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruits  Berries edible, sub globose black when ripe, up to 1.7 cm in diameter, containing 1 or 2 pale yellow, circular, compressed seeds immersed in white pulp (Bourdillon, 1908; Bose et al., 1998).
Fruit type  Berry.
Seeds  Seeds not poisonous one or two, circular, 6-8 mm in diameter, sub-peltate, hardly discoid with whitish pulp (Bose et al., 1998).
Seed length 
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  1,660 seeds/kg.
Seed dispersal 
Seed Collection  Ripe fruits are collected from the trees during April to May, and the seeds extracted, cleaned and stored (Edwards and Naithani, 1999).
Transportation of seeds 
Seed processing 
Seed storage 
Viability period 
Seed emptiness 
Seed pre treatment  Mild boiled water treatment and soaking in water for 48 hrs.
Germination type 
Germination percentage 
Germination period 
Nursery technique  Seeds are put in polybags and continuously watered. The shoot comes up with the cotyledons just like a round cap. The root growth is very fast compared to the shoot growth and so a longer polythene bag is required for raising the seedlings (Edwards and Naithani, 1999).
Method of propagation  By seeds
Vegetative propagation 
Medicinal properties  The seeds yield alkaloids, which are used in medicine. The powdered bark is useful in cholera. The seeds possess tonic, stomachic, demulcent and emetic properties and are used in acute diarrhoea, diabetes, gonorrhoea etc. They are used in the treatment of eye diseases, particularly conjunctivitis, in the treatment of dysentery and bronchitis (Bose et al., 1998).
Uses  Used for carts, shaft, agricultural implements, etc. The ripe seeds are used for clearing muddy water and reported to be very effective as a coagulant aid (Bose et al., 1998).
Wood properties  The wood is white when fresh, turning yellow grey on exposure, without any distinct heartwood. It is a hard and heavy wood with medium coarse texture. It is a diffuse porous wood with growth rings delimited by fine lines of soft tissues. Pores some few and large, others very small and numerous, arranged in lines or patches. Rays numerous, white, fine and moderately broad (Bourdillon, 1908).
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