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  Dysoxylum malabaricum Bedd. ex Hiern
Vernacular name  Vella akil (Malayalam), Vellayagil (Tamil), Bilibudlige (Kannada) (Chacko et al.,2002).
Common name  Purple cone flower, White cedar (Gamble, 1922; Chacko et al., 2002).
Synonyms  Dysoxylum glandulosum Talbot (Chacko et al.,2002).
Family  Meliaceae
Distribution  Distributed in evergreen and semi-evergreen forests. In Kerala it occurs in Wayanad, Palghat, Ernakulam, Idukki, Pathanamthitta and Quilon districts; almost throughout the state, mainly in the highlands.
Description  Large trees, reaching 35 m tall and around 3 m girth (Bourdillon, 1908).
Flowering season  March to April (Bourdillon, 1908).
Fruiting season  June to July (Bourdillon, 1908). May to July (Nair et al., 2002; Chacko et al., 2002).
Flowers  Fragrant white to greenish yellow, distinctly stalked. Flowers numerous in axillary panicles about 27 cm long, very fragrant, greenish yellow, 0.6 cm across (Bourdillon 1908).
Fruits  Capsule, pear-shaped, greenish yellow, 5 to 7.5 cm long, and vertically ridged (Chacko et al., 2002); 5-7 cm long, bright yellow when ripe.
Fruit type  Capsule.
Seeds  Seeds 3-4, sub-globose and brown coloured (Chacko et al., 2002) bluntly 3 angled, dark brown.
Seed length  1.5 cm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed width  1.2 cm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  121 seeds / kg with seed coat, 190 seeds/kg without seed coat at 58% moisture content (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed dispersal  Wild animals.
Seed Collection  Ripe fruits at a bright yellow colour (Nair et al., 2002). They can be collected from standing trees or from ground (Troup, 1921) before eaten by animals (Chacko et al.,2002).
Transportation of seeds  Fruits are collected in ventilated containers and transported to the processing centre (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed processing  Mature fruits are stored under shade for two or three days where they dehisce open. Seeds can be separated by hand. If these fruits fail to dehisce open, they can be split open longitudinally using a sharp seed cutter (or knife) without injuring the seeds (Chacko et al.,2002).
Seed storage  Most probably recalcitrant. The seeds are liable to loss their viability if stored for long and should be sown as soon as possible after collection (Troup 1921). Seeds can be stored in wet gunny bags for 6 weeks (Dent, 1948; Chacko et al., 2002).
Viability period  No information (Chacko et al.,2002).
Seed emptiness  Low (Chacko et al.,2002).
Seed pre treatment  The seed coat may be peeled off by hand (Chacko et al.,2002).
Germination type  Epigeal (Chacko et al.,2002).
Germination percentage  45; above 80% for fresh seeds (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination period  24 to 40 days (Chacko et al.,2002).
Nursery technique  Seeds germinated in vermiculile medium may be potted in large polythene containers of 40 x 18 cm one week after germination. The seedling attain a height of 15 cm at about 6 week after germination (Chacko et al.,2002).
Method of propagation  By seeds and vegetative method.
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  Heavy infestation by a tephritid fly Daccus sp. (Diptera) is noticed in the field. Stored seeds are also heavily infested by coleopteran and lepidopteran borers (Chacko et al., 2002).
Diseases  Heavy when stored. Storage fungi like Trichoderma sp. Arpergillus sp., and Penicillium sp., were recorded on seeds. Alternaria sp., Fusarium sp., Curvularia sp., Verticillium sp. were recorded as a seed-borne fungi. Seed treatment with Hexathir or Captan @ 4 g/kg of seeds reduce the seed rot (Nair et al., 2002; Chacko et al., 2002).
Medicinal properties  The wood is used to cure rheumatism, wood oil is used to treat ear and eye diseases (Chacko et al., 2002).
Uses  A very lofty tree, wood sweet scented, used for oil casks. Wood is a valuable timber.
Wood properties  Sapwood is white, usually narrow. The heartwood which is not sharply demarcated from the sapwood, is white with yellowish cast or pale yellow, lustrous, with a faint cedary odour. It is a moderately hard and moderately heavy timber (Air dry weight about 720 kg/m3). Wood light red, hard, close-grained and elastic. Pores moderate sized, numerous, evenly distributed, sometimes in fine concentric white lines, sometimes alone. Medullary rays fine, numerous (Gamble, 1922).
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