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  Hardwickia binata Roxb.
Vernacular name  Aacha (Malayalam); Anjan (Hindi); Kamara (Kannada); Acha (Tamil).
Common name  Anjan.
Family  Leguminosae
Subfamily  Caesalpiniaceae
Distribution  The tree is found in the Deccan Peninsula, Central India, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The tree is distributed on the drier districts of Western Peninsula and Bihar. It is also extensively planted by the Forest Department in the plains as well as up to 750 m in the foothills (Bose et al., 1998).
Description  It is a deciduous tree, approximately 36 m in height and 4.5 m in girth. It has a clean, cylindrical bole. A large gregarious tree up to 30 m high; branchlets slender, drooping, heartwood dark red, extremely hard (Bose et al., 1998).
Flowering season  July to September (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruiting season  April and May of the following year. January to March (Bose et al., 1998).
Flowers  They are yellowish green, borne in lax panicles, in ample axillary and terminal panicles; calyx lobes 5, petaloid; petal absent; stamens 10; ovary sessile; ovules 2; stigma peltate (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruits  They are pods tapering at both the ends, strap-shaped, with a seed near the tip.
Fruit type  Pod.
Seeds  Seeds are flat, with a hard testa, pointed at one end and rounded at the other, coriaceous, oblong-lanceolate with parallel longitudinal veins (Bose et al., 1998).
Seed length  2 x 1 cm.
Seed width 
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  3000 - 5000 seeds/kg.
Seed dispersal  Wind dispersal.
Seed Collection  Ripe fruits are collected from the trees during May to June, dried for 3 to 4 days, cleaned and stored (Vanangamudi et al., 2006). The winged fruit fall to the ground in May to June. The ripe fruits are collected from the tree by plucking during the month of May.
Transportation of seeds 
Seed processing 
Seed storage  Storage can be done in metal tins or polythene containers. However, attack by microbial flora cannot be prevented by seed dressing with fungicide (Aswathanarayana et al., 1997).
Viability period 
Seed emptiness 
Seed pre treatment  The seeds should be soaked in water for 24 hrs. Soak in cold water for 24 hrs prior to sowing (Edwards and Naithani, 1999). IAA at lower concentrations (1-20 ppm) increase germination and plant percentages of H. binata. Higher concentrations of IAA has an inhibitory effect. But, IBA promote marginal increases in germination and plant percentages at lower concentrations and has an inhibitory effect at higher concentrations (Tiwari et al., 1999).
Germination type  Epigeal.
Germination percentage  75 to 80
Germination period 
Nursery technique  Seeds can be put in the bigger bags since growth of root is fast and one year old seedlings can be planted. Also standard sized stumps can be treated with cows urine for six hrs and put in polybags. The one year old, sprouted stumps can be planted in the field. Seeds sown in mother bed in May-June should be lightly covered by soil. Germination within 20 days (Vanangamudi et al., 2006). Placing the seeds with the embryo in a horizontal or inverted position at a depth of 1.5 cm and 3.0 cm give early and higher germination, higher root and shoot length, greater dry matter production and vigour index (Masilamani et al., 1999).
Method of propagation  It happens normally by the seeds, but the root suckers also produce seedlings during the rainy season.
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  Defoliation by curculionids, scarabaeids and chrysomelids is very common, especially after the rains. Sap suckers such as psyllids, aphids and membracids play an equally devastating role, causing heavy mortality of seedlings (Sivaramakrishnan and Remadevi, 1996).
Medicinal properties 
Uses  The wood is used as a Timber. The bark yields a fibre used for well ropes. Oleo resin extracted from the heartwood is used in the manufacture of varnishes. Leaves are lopped for fodder. Whole plant extract of H. binata has a novel diterpenoid, harbinatic acid (Deng JingZhen et al., 1999).
Wood properties  Wood is dark red to reddish brown with darker streaks. It is coarse textured and dull with an oily feel. It is extremely hard, heavy and durable. It is a diffuse porous wood with growth rings delimited by fine lines of soft tissues which are distinct only under hand lens. Medullary rays fine, numerous, undulating, bent where they text the pores, visible on a radial section as fine plates giving a pretty silver grain. Occasional scanty, fine, concentric lines (Gamble, 1922).
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