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 tereticornis Sm.
Vernacular name  Hybrid (Malayalam), Thayila maram (Tamil), Safeda (Hindi) (Chacko et al.,2002).
Common name  Mysore gums (Trade name), Grey gum, Forest red gum (Chacko et al.,2002); Bastard box, Flooded gum (Bose et al., 1998).
Synonyms  Eucalyptus umbellata auct. non (Gaertn.) Domin, Eucalyptus subulata A. Cunn.ex Schauer (Chacko et al., 2002).
Family  Myrtaceae
Subfamily 
Origin  Native of Australia.
Distribution  Exotic from Australia, hybridised and naturalized in Karnataka. Indigenous in South Australia and New Guinea; cultivated in many parts of the world, including India in Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh and in the Nilgiris and Palnis in South India (Bose et al., 1998). In Kerala, it has been planted extensively in the low altitude places (Nair, 1986; Chacko et al., 2002).
Description  A robust tree up to 40 m high, with open crown; branchlets apically angular (Bose et al., 1998). Fast growing, tall, evergreen tree reaching a height of 50 m and a breast height diameter of 200 cm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Flowering season  One month before fruiting, April to May (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruiting season  In autumn - October to November; Summer - May to June. February to March or October to November (Luna 1996 ; Chacko et al., 2002).
Flowers  Flowers axillary, ovoid or conical in buds, 1-1.5 cm long, white, in 4-9-flowered umbels; operculum twice as long as calyx tube, conical, horn-shaped, acute apex (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruits  Fruit is a capsule, hemispherical, on a short and thick pedicel, nearly globose, 6-8 cm in diameter, truncate above; disc ascending; valves 4 or 5, exserted (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruit type  Capsule.
Seeds  Capsule, disc wide and convex.
Seed length 
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  3,67,400 (Luna, 1996) to 800000 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 a 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). Air-dried seeds stored in airtight container retain viability up to two years (Kumar and Bhanja, 1992; Chacko et al., 2002).
Viability period  Seeds are viable for about two years in sealed tins (Chacko et al.,2002).
Seed emptiness  Low (Chacko et al.,2002).
Seed pre treatment  Not required (Chacko et al.,2002).
Germination type  Epigeal (Chacko et al.,2002).
Germination percentage  Up to 90 (Kumar and Bhanja, 1992; Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination period  3 to 15 days (FRI, 1984: Kumar and Bhanja, 1992; 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 20 x 10 cm size filled with potting mixture with in the three weeks after germination. Seedlings can be raised in root trainers and other types of containers by direct sowing also (Chacko et al., 2002).
Method of propagation  Cuttings obtained from coppice shoots treated with 4000 ppm IBA in talcum, root in partially controlled environment conditions in a mist chamber (Chaturvedi et al., 1992). Natural regeneration is rarely observed where E. tereticornis is planted as an exo
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  Nil (Chacko et al.,2002). Trinervitermes biformis, Odontotermes redemanni and O. bellahunisensis (Roonwal, and Rathore, 1984).
Diseases  Moderate. Twenty three spermoplane fungi and a bacterium were recorded on seeds. Cylindrocladium clavatum, Drechslera rostrata, D. australiensis, Fusarium equiseti, F. moniliforme, Macropromina sp. were the important field fungi on seeds (Sharma and Mohanan, 1980; Chacko et al., 2002). Leaf blight caused by Alternaria padwickii (Thankamma and Nair, 1989). Stem canker caused by Botryodiplodia theobromae in 1-2 yr old plantations of E. tereticornis; root rot caused by Cylindrocladium floridanum (Sharma et al., 1989).
Medicinal properties 
Uses  Wood is used for making pulp, newsprint, wrapping, writing and printing papers. Also used for rayon manufacturing, as small timber, posts, pole, fuel etc. (Chacko et al., 2002). Leaves are important source of essential oil.
Wood properties  Wood is heavy, moderately strong, moderately tough and hard. The sapwood is pale greyish brown which gradually merges into pale reddish brown heartwood. The weight and hardness of the wood varies widely with the age and locality of growth.
References  Get ...
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