Calophyllum ionophyllum

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This is a medium sized evergreen tree best suited for protecting sea shores. Ash coloured or dark green leaves are its characteristic features. Grown well in sandy and alluvial soils. Mostly distributed along sea shores and also in the tropical evergreen forests. Cultivated as shade giving plants along road sides and also as ornamental one.

 

Artificial propagation

Artificial propagation is by direct sowing or by planting nursery raised seedlings. Pods are collected during the month of March. One kilogram contains about 250 seeds. Hard coat is to be removed. Soaking the seeds in cold water for 12 hours or warm water for 40 minutes is recommended for enhancing germination. Soaking in dilute sulphuric acid for 20 minutes is also found to enhance germination.

 

Planting and management

Planting is done mainly during the monsoon season. Pit planting is recommended at a spacing of 3m x 3m. It prefers a sandy loam soil. Watering is essential in summer months particularly during initial stages of development. It can be raised both as pure crop and also interplanted with banana or pepper. Two to three weeding are necessary during the initial stages of development.

Fertilizers at the rate of 25-30g N.,15-20g P2O5 and 20-25 g K2O can be applied depending up on size and age. There is regional variations in flowering seasons. In Kerala, flowers are produced during the months of March-April. Pods get matured at the time of May-June. This is a light demanding tree. Fire and wind will cause severe damage.

 

Plant protection

Rotting is caused by fungi belonging to the genus Fomes. Young plants are also infected by fungi like Trichosoma which can be controlled by spraying 1 per cent Bordeaux mixture

 

Timber

Sapwood has pale reddish white colour. Heartwood is reddish brown with mottled dark lines. Felling and sawing are very easy. It can be kept in water for a long period of time without any damage. One cubic meter timber weighs about 655 kg.

 

Uses

Wood is used for making posts, beams, furniture etc. Used in plywood industry also. Dark green coloured oil from seeds is a good fuel and used for making soap, varnishes etc. Oil cake is a fertilizer. Saponin in the leaves is detritus to fishes

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