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  Eucalyptus globulus Labill.
Vernacular name  Karpura maraum (Bose et al., 1998); Eucaly (Malayalam), Thailamaram (Tamil) (Chacko et al., 2002); Mattu kankuli(Tamil) (Bose et al., 1998).
Common name  Blue gum, Tasmanian blue gum (Chacko et al., 2002); Southern Blue gum.
Synonyms 
Family  Myrtaceae
Subfamily 
Origin  Native of Australia.
Distribution  Native of Australia and planted in the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, Africa and America. In India, it has been extensively planted in Nilgiris, Anamalais and Palni hills (Luna, 1996; Chacko et al., 2002). Indigenous in Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales, extensively planted in subtropical regions throughout the world; in India grown in the hills above 1000 m (First introduction in India in 1843)(Bose et al., 1998).
Description  Fast growing, large evergreen tree of 75 m height and a breast height diameter of 56 cm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Flowering season  February to March; August to January (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruiting season  Ripens from March to April collected in May; December to April (Bose et al., 1998).
Flowers  Umbel, flowers are bluish white in colour, either solitary or 2 or 3 in number. Flowers large, axillary, solitary, rarely 2-3-flowered, on a rudimentary peduncle over 4 cm across; operculum flattened, hemispherical, thick and warty, much shorter than the broadly conical, angled calyx tube (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruits  Capsule, disc large, convex, rather thick, moderately smooth and flat. Fruits globular to conical, 4-ribbed, 2-2.5 cm in diameter, warty, valves 3-5 (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruit type  Capsule.
Seeds  Seeds very small, compressed,sterile seeds much narrower than fertile seeds (Bose et al., 1998).
Seed length  No information (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  1,80,000 seeds/kg (Kindt et al., 1997; chacko et al., 2002).
Seed dispersal 
Seed Collection  The twigs bearing capsules are lopped off the trees and collected on tarpaulin sheet (Chacko et al.,2002).
Transportation of seeds  The capsules are separated from the twigs and transported in gunny bags (Chacko et al.,2002).
Seed processing  Capsules are dried in shade for a day or two in cloth bags. Seeds released from the capsules are winnowed to remove chaff. The seeds are dried well before storage (Chacko et al.,2002).
Seed storage  Orthodox (Kindt et al., 1997, CABI, 1998). Fresh seeds give high germination percentage, those kept for two years gave very poor germination percentage (Luna, 1996; Chacko et al., 2002).
Viability period  Seeds are viable for about one year in sealed tins (Chacko et al.,2002).
Seed emptiness  No information (Chacko et al.,2002).
Seed pre treatment  Not required (Carlowitz, 1991; Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination type  Epigeal (Chacko et al.,2002).
Germination percentage  30 to 80 (Luna, 1996; Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination period  10 to 30 days (Luna 1996; Chacko et al., 2002).
Nursery technique  Seeds are sown in germination trays containing perlite medium or on 12 mm thick polyurethane foam sheets (Chacko and Muhammad, 1986), placed in trays. Germination takes place with 5 to 15 days. The seedlings are pricked out into polythene bags of 20x10 cm size filled with potting mixture with in three weeks after germination (Chacko et al.,2002).
Method of propagation  By seeds or cuttings.
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  Nil (Chacko et al.,2002).
Diseases  Moderate. Eleven fungi and a bacterium are recorded on seeds. Aspergillus sp., Cephalosporium sp., Curvularia sp., Paecilomyces were the important storage moulds (Sharma and mohanan, 1980; Chacko et al., 2002). Leaf spot caused by Phaeoseptoria eucalypti (Sharma et al., 1990). 'Pink disease' (of cambium), caused by Corticium salmonicolor (Seth et al., 1978).
Medicinal properties  The oil extracted from the leaves is used in pharmaceutical preparations, flavouring of cough lozenges, vaporisers, toothpastes, soaps, repellents against mosquitoes, germicides etc. Essential oil derived from the leaves is antiseptic, expectorant, febrifuge, diaphoretic and largely used in the diseases of the respiratory tract (Bose et al., 1998). The oils of E. globulus are potential sources of 1,8-cineole [eucalyptol] (Dethier et al., 1994).
Uses  Wood is used for fuel and pulp wood, and it is also suitable for ship building, agricultural implements, wood pulps (Bose et al., 1998).
Wood properties  The wood is brown, hard, tough and durable. The sapwood is grey which gradually merges into light brown heartwood. The wood varies greatly in hardness and weight depending upon the age of the tree.
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