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  Grewia tiliifolia Vahl
Vernacular name  Chadachi, Unnam (Malayalam); Chadachi, Unam (Tamil); Batala, Thadsal (Kannada) (Chacko et al.,2002); Dhamni (Sanskrit).
Common name  Chadachi, Dhaman (Chacko et al., 2002).
Synonyms  G. asiatica Mast.
Family  Tiliaceae
Distribution  Occurs in Sub Himalayan tract, common in Western Ghats, Tropical East Africa; Peninsular India; Sri Lanka; Myanmar (Bose et al., 1998).
Description  A moderate to large sized, deciduous tree, with cylindrical bole.
Flowering season  February to August; February to April (Bourdillon, 1908).
Fruiting season  May to August; May to June (Bourdillon, 1908).
Flowers  Flowers yellow in colour, these are borne on thick, axillary peduncles; sepals oblong, 8-12 mm long, subacute, pubescent outside, glabrous within; petals oblong or spathulate, about 4-5 mm long; stamens about 5mm long; ovary villous (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruits  Drupes usually glabrous at maturity black, globose.
Fruit type  Drupe.
Seeds  2 lobed, reddish-purple coloured.
Seed length  0.51 cm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed width  0.49 cm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  5290 to 6540 (with pulp) (Nair et al., 2002) 16,000 to 19,400 (Sen Gupta, 1937) de-pulped seeds/kg.
Seed dispersal  Wind dispersal.
Seed Collection  Ripe fruits fall abundantly during the pre-monsoon showers. It is convenient to gather fruits on tarpaulin sheets below the trees in advance (Chacko et al.,2002).
Transportation of seeds  Fruits are transported to the processing centre as quickly as possible (Chacko et al.,2002).
Seed processing  Fruits are de-pulped, washed and dried under shade. A fruit will normally have two seeds (Nair et al.,1991; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed storage  Probably intermediate. Seeds are stored in gunny bags mixed with BHC to avoid insect attack (Rai, 1999; Chacko et al., 2002).
Viability period  Keeps well for four months in gunny bags or sealed tins (Dent, 1948; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed emptiness  Low (Chacko et al.,2002).
Seed pre treatment  No information (Chacko et al.,2002).
Germination type  Epigeal(Chacko et al.,2002).
Germination percentage  Up to 10 (Nair et al.,1991; Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination period  5 to 60 days (Nair et al., 1991; Chacko et al., 2002).
Nursery technique  The seeds are sown in germination trays containing vermiculite and watered. The seedlings are pricked out at two leaf stage and planted in 22.5 x 17.5 cm polythene bags filled with potting mixture (Chacko et al., 2002).
Method of propagation  By seeds.
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  Low (Chacko et al.,2002).
Diseases  Moderate (61%). More than 23 fungi, bacteria and actinomycetes are recorded on seeds. Corynespora sp., Curvularia lunata, Cylindrocladium sp., Fusarium sp., Myrothecium sp., Phomopsis sp., are the important fungi (Mohanan and Sharma, 1991 and Chacko et al., 2001).
Medicinal properties  The bark is astringent, sweet, acrid, refrigerant, oleaginous and tonic. It is useful in seminal weakness and general debility, ulcers, wounds. The fruits sweet, sour, cooling and edible and are useful in vitiated conditions of Vata and Kapha.
Uses  Timber is excellent quality, strong, elastic as good as teak. The fruit is eaten and the inner bark made into cordage. Wood is used for shafts, furniture, poles,frames, pannels, tool handles, agricultural implements etc.
Wood properties  Sapwood is brownish grey. Heartwood is redish brown, moderately heavy. Sapwood white; heartwood small, brown, close grained, hard. Annual rings marked by a line and the harder autumn wood. Pores moderately sized, numerous, uniformly distributed. Medullary rays fine, prominent on a radial section, giving a handsome silver grained; the distance between the rays equal to the diameter of the pores (Gamble, 1922).
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