Tree information

Local name: 

sugandha kokila (सुगन्ध कोकिल)

Genus: 

Cinnamomum

Species: 

glaucescens

Author: 

(Nees) Drury

Family: 

Lauraceae

Evergreen tree; buds enclosed in overlapping scales. Leaves alternate, 7-10 cm long, on stalks 1-2 cm long, elliptic, with well-marked midrib and 4-5 pairs of lateral veins. Inflorescences covered in brown hairs. Fruit about 3 cm long, base enclosed in a cup 10-12 mm across.

Occurrence

Recorded in Nepal from the Rapti zone between 600 and 1360 m; also reported from eastern Nepal. Outside Nepal it grows in Sikkim, Bhutan, Manipur and the Khasi Hills.

Artificial regeneration

Seedlings from these sowings had an average height of about 3 m after two years at Hetauda, but only about 1 m at Godavari. The tree coppices well.

The seed ripens from late October to late November; there are about 2000 seeds kg-1. They lose all their viability within two months, and should be sown as soon as possible after collection, after removing the flesh, washing the seeds in water, and drying them in the sun. At Godavari the seed was sown in December in drills 5 em apart, in beds covered with polythene sheeting, made airtight by embedding the edges of the sheeting in soil. Under the polythene the maximum temperature was 35°C, and the minimum 10°C. Germination began after 30 days: and was just over 30 per cent. In the next year seed sown on 6 December using similar methods gave 48 per cent germination; this fell to 16 per cent for seed sown on 4 January, and to nil for later sowings.

Importance in Nepal

The pericarp of the fruits is distilled to yield about four per cent of an essential oil used in perfumery. After distillation the residue is used for joss-sticks, but it contains about 35 per cent of fixed oil which could be extracted by solvent or pressing. The oil is also used in ayurvedic medicine.

Related

 

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