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Everything you wanted to know about kokum (Garcinia family)

Everything you wanted to know about kokum (Garcinia family) - Botany Forum

Everything you wanted to know about kokum (Garcinia family) - Botany Forum


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Old 03-03-2005, 10:09 PM
Frederick Noronha \(FN\)
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Default Everything you wanted to know about kokum (Garcinia family)



(Information material on the occasion of 2 nd National seminar on Kokum,
organized by Western Ghats Kokum foundation and Goa University, Goa
University, Taleigao, Goa, 4-5 March, 2005)

Everything you wanted to know about Kokum

By Dr. B.P. PATIL, ADR, RFRS, Vengurle.

(From the brochure on Kokum to be published by Western Ghats Kokum
foundation)

Contact person:- Dr. Ajit Shirodkar, [Only registered users see links. ]

(Please quote this reference as Patil, B.P. (2005) Kokum, Brochure, Western
Ghats Kokum Foundation, Goa)

Introduction

Garcinia species are distributed widely throughout the old world especially
Asia and Africa. They comprise a large genus of evergreen trees, shrubs,
lines and herbs.

Garcinia belongs to the botanical family Clusiaceae and according to old
botanical classification, Garcinia is placed within the family Guttiferae
which includes about 1350 species. Some of the species in this family
possess medicinal properties, whereas most of the plants are known for their
oil glands or secretary canals or cavities, which contain yellow or brightly
coloured resins. Guttiferae is further divided into 42 genera and five
sub-families: Kielmeroideae, Hypericoideae, Calophylloideae, Moronbeioideae
and Clusioideae. Of these, the subfamily Clusioideae consists of two
tribes, Clusieae and Garcicieae and Garcinieae in turn has two genera namely
Garcinia and Mammea. (Muhammed et al. 1994) The genus Garcinia includes 200
old world tropical species and out of these, over 20 are found in India.
These include Garcinia gummigutta G. morella,, G. livingstonei,, G.
mangostana, G. paniculata, G. pedunculata, G. atroviridis, G. indica, G.
hombroniana, G. lanceaefolia,, G. microstigma, G. dulcis, G. echinocarpa
etc. (Roberts 1984).

The typical features of Garcinia species include monopodial growth, an
yellow exudates from stem, coriaceous or leathery textured leaves etc.
Botany of Garcinia species

Trees in this genus can be either dioecious or polygamous. In dioecious
species, reproductive organs are unisexual. In the polygamous species,
male, female and hermaphrodite flowers are found in the same plant. Male
flowers in the Garcinia are noted for their distinctive pistilodes (Raven et
al. 1986).

The flowers of Garcinia species may, be solitary, fascicled and umbelled or
panicled. Flowers usually have 4 to 5 sepals, which form the outer layer of
the unopened flower bud. Four to five imbricate petals are generally
present. In the male flowers, the stamens exist either free or joined to
form a ring or lobular mass that surrounds a rudimentary ovary.

Two-lobed or four-lobed, anthers are straight/horse-shoe shaped with annular
dehiscence. In the female flowers, the staminodes are free or joined
together. The ovary consists of 2 to 12 cells with solitary ovules
positioned at the inner angle of each cell. The female flower has a largely
conspicuous but varied stigma, which is sub-sessile. The peltate leaf may
be lobed, entirely smooth, or tubercled with wart like growths. The berry
encapsulated by a tough rind, sits on top of the calyx. Most Garcinia
berries contain several large seeds suspended in a pulpy interior (CSIR
1956; Roberts 1984).

Garcinia indica Choisy

Garcinia indica Choisy is synonymous with Garcinia purppurea and is known as
brindon in Goa, bhirind or ansul in Marathi and Konkani, Murugal in Kannada
and Punampuli in Malayalam (Sullivan et al. 1974). The tree is commonly
known as kokum butter tree, mangosteen oil tree or brindonia tallow tree.
Kokum is reported to be imported from Zanzibar to India (Williams 1949).

Distribution and climate

Kokum (G.indica) is an evergreen tree occurring up to an elevation of about
800 metres from sea level. It is abundant in Western India and is South
Kanara and in areas west of Bombay (Muhammed et al. 1994). According to
Krishnamurthy et al. (1981) ut us found in tropical rain forests of Western
Ghats, North Malabar, Coorg and Wynad as well as in West Bengal and Assam.

Description, flowering and fruiting

The kokum ,tree reaches a height of about 10 to 15 metres. It has dark
green and drooping foliage. Smaller than most of the species of the genus
Garcinia, it is distinguished by oblong-lanceolate and glabrous leaves. The
tree flowers in November ~V February and fruits ripen in April ~V May (CSIR
1956). The flowers, which can be axillary or terminal, exist in soilitary
form or as spreading fascicles. The scale like bracts are deciduous or shed
seasonally. The sepals are deccusiate, thick and fleshy. Four thick petals
extend in length slightly beyond the sepals. Male flowers are characterised
by numerous stamens and two celled anthers with exceedingly short filaments.
Female flowers are either sessile or on short pedicles, bundled two or three
together, Ovary is 4-8 celled with sessile stigma. The fruit is spherical
but un-furrowed and purple, 2.5 to 3.0 cm in diameter and encases 5 to 8
seeds (Muhammed et al. 1994; Subash Chandra 1996).

PROPAGATION AND CULTURAL PRACTICES OF KOKUM

Kokum is propagated on large scale by seeds. However, due to its dioecious
nature, about 50 per cent seedlings turn out to be males. Only female trees
produce fruits. Besides it, being a very slow grower, takes about 7 to 8
years for first flowering. At present no method is available to detect the
sex of plant in seedling stage and hence after retaining about 10% male
plants, rest have to be culled or converted into female tree by side
grafting. Further seed propagated plants show varying ability in cropping,
fruit size, shape and time of harvest of fruits.

For raising seedlings, fruits are collected from early maturing, heavy
yielding plants having bold size fruits. After extraction, seeds are washed
thoroughly in water and dried for 3 to 4 days. Then seeds are sown in small
polythene bags (5.0 x 7.0 cm) about 2 cm depth. For early germination,
seeds may be soaked in water for about 2 days. Seeds germinate in about
12-15 days. These seedlings are nursed for one year before planting in the
field.

Vegetative propagation :

For ensuring female trees and uniformity in yield and quality of fruits
different methods of vegetative propagation were tried.

It was found that inarch grafting is successful on 10 to 18 month old
seedlings of Kokum, when done in the month of December-January. For
grafting purpose about 3-4 month old up-right growing shoots from scion
plant should be selected. If horizontal growing scion shoot is used, the
graft will have straggling habit with top heaviness on one side. About 90%
success is observed in inarch grafting method.

Recently soft wood grafting has been found to be successful and more easier
than inarching for soft wood grafting 9-12 month. Old seedlings and 3 to 6
month old scion are suitable. The method of grafting is similar to soft
wood grafting in mango and cashew. The period from April-May is suitable.
Graft union occurs within 2 months. About 80% success is observed in this
method.

Preparation of land and planting :

Before planting the area should be cleared by removing bushes and trees in
the month of April-May. Pits of 60 x 60 x 60 cm are dug at 6 x 6.0 m
spacing. At the end of May pits are filled up with good soil, about 10 kg
F.Y.M. and 1.0 kg single super phosphate or bone-meal. In each pit about
100 g 50% B.H.C. powder may be added to protect the seedling from termite
attack. Kokum can be grown as avenue tree or planted on the fence for
beautification and as a source of income.

At the onset of monsoon, one year old vigorously growing seedling or graft
is planted per pit. At the time of planting root ball should be kept
intact. When graft is used. The care is taken to keep the graft union above
the soil surface. Soil around the graft/seedling is firmly pressed and a
support of split bamboo stick is provided.

After cares :

After planting, seedlings/grafts are required to be protected from, stray
cattles. In the first year, for protecting the young seedlings from,
scorching heat, over head shade is provided from October. Weeds should be
removed from time to time for good growth of seedlings/grafts. For the
initial two years, about 10 litres of water be given per week per plant
during winter and summer months. Mulching of dry grass may be done around
the basin of plant to conserve the soil moisture.

Manure and fertilizer application :

At present, Kokum trees are rarely manured. Therefore, very low yields are
obtained from them. No research work has been carried out on the manurial
and fertilizer requirement of Kokum. As Kokum is a perennial crop bearing
crop every year, it is necessary to give manures and fertilizers for higher
yields. On ad-hoc basis, Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth has recommended following
manure and fertilizer dose per year.

In the first year, each plant should be applied with 2 kg F.Y.M., 50 g n, 25
g O2O5 and 250 g K2O. This dose is increased every year and from, tenth
year each plant may be given 20 kg F.Y.M,. 500 g n, 250 g P2O5 and 250 g
K2O. Manures and fertilizers are applied by ring method under the canopy of
the plant during the month of August, after the heavy rains are over.

During the early 10 to 12 years after planting, rainfed crops like sweet
potato, vegetables, flowering annuals and stylo grass can be taken as inter
crops.

After 7 to 8 years from planting, sex of the seedling plants is known. Keep
only 10% of the male plants, well scattered in the orchard for the proper
pollination and fertilization. Rest of the male plants can be converted
into female trees by side grafting in the month of August- September. In
side grafting about 70% success has been observed. Harvesting :

In Kokum flowering starts from October-November and continues upto
February. Fruits are ready for harvesting during the months of March to
June. When fruits turn from green to reddish in colour, they are plucked
carefully by hand.

At present, most of the cultivated plants of Kokum are of seedling origin
most of them are in neglected condition. Hence, there is wide variation in
the yield, fruit shape, size, quality and time, of maturity. From, properly
cared plantation from 15 year onwards about 30 to 50 kg fruit yield can be
obtained

POSTHARVEST HANDLING AND TECHNOLOGY OF KOKAM :

The ripe Kokum, fruit is dark purple coloured or red with yellow tinge. It
contains 3-8 large seeds embedded in a red acid pulp. The ripe fruit which
contains substantial, amount of malic acid and a little tartaric or citric
acid has a acceptable acidic taste. Though the plantations of Kokum are not
systematic and on large scale, its fruits are commercially exploited for
making Kokum ,syrup (~SAmrit Kokum,~T) which makes an excellent sharbat and
is also useful in fever as cooling, refreshing drink and antidote against
bilious affections. No reliable estimates are available as to how much
Kokum is available in India. However, in the Konkan region alone about 4000
tonnes are produced (Sampathu and N. Krishnaswamy, 1982).

Very little systematic work on maturity indices and storage of Kokum is
reported so far. The tree flowers in November ~V February and the fruits
ripened in April and May. Traditionally, the fresh fruits are collected
from forest areas and marketed in fresh condition. Nair (1986) while
working on maturity indices and post-harvest technology of Kokam concluded
that weight, volume, length, diameter and colour of the fruit could be
considered as physical indices whereas moisture, T.S.S., sugars, acidity,
pH, ascorbic acid and tannins as chemical indices of maturity. Sampathu and
Krishnamurthy (1982) have also reported the chemical composition of Kokum
rind.

The cool chamber storage (Roy and Khurdiya, 1982) was found to be better for
storage of mature green and ripe Kokam ,fruits than ambient temperature
storage (Nair, 1986). Different products like dried ripe Kokum rind, Kokum
syrup, extraction of fat from seed etc. are made from Kokum (Sampathu and
Krishmurthy, 1982). Nair (1986) reported that the products like dried
mature green Kokum, dried ripe Kokum rind and Amrit Kokum could be
successfully prepared (Nair, 1986). Kadrekar et al. (1969) have also
emphasized the importance of Kokum in the development of rural economy of
Konkan region. Kokum seed (8-10 seeds per fruit) is a good source of fat
called as 'Kokum Butter' in commerce.

Kokum is a minor oil seed crop and butter has food and nonfood applications.
The oil is traditionally extracted by boiling the kernel powder in water and
the oil which is collected at the top is skimmed off. The yield of oil
(fat) is about 25 to 30% (Khanvilkar, 1984). The fat is greasy to feel and
whitish yellow in colour. Anon (1981) has emphasized the post-harvest
handling of Kokum and extraction of Kokum oil. A new fat soluble yellow
pigment namely garcinol has been isolated from the Kokum fruit rind. The
chemical characteristics of Kokum fat (Sampathu and Krishnamurthy, 1982) are
as given below :

Melting point 39 ~V 43oC
Sap value 189
Iodine value 34.7 to 36.7
Unsap matter (%) 1.4%
Freefatty acid ~V
(%) as oleic 7.2%

The component fatty acids present by wt. are

Myristic 0-1.2
Palmitic 2.5 ~V 5.3
Stearic 52-56.4
Oleic 39.4 ~V41.5
Linoleic 1.7

Kokum fat has been reported to be used in chocolate and confectionary
preparations. It is also used is manufacture of soap,, candle and
ointments. An ointment made out of Kokum, fat, white dammar resin (resin
exuded by Vateria indica tree) and wax is said to be effective in treating
carbuncles. It is reported that Italy and some, other foreign countries are
importing Kokum fat from, India for use in confectionary preparations.

Kokum fruit appears to be a promising industrial raw material for commercial
exploitation in view of its interesting chemical constituents. Processing

Freshly harvested fruits are reddish green in colour and turn into full
Red-purple colour in a day or two (Fig. La). The flesh of the fruit is
juicy and has a sweetish acid taste. The normal shelf-life of fresh fruit
is about five days. The common method practiced for preservation is sun
drying. For this, the fresh fruits are cut into halves and the fleshy
portion containing the seed is removed. The rind (skin) is then repeatedly
soaked in the juice of the pulp during sun drying. The product obtained
after sun drying is referred to as amsul or unsalted kokum in commerce.
Salted kokum (agar) is also marketed; wherein common salt is used during
soaking and drying of the rind. Lonavala kokum, Pakali kokum, Khane or
edible kokum and Khoba kokum are some of the trade varieties (Sampathu &
Krishnamurthy 1982).

The seeds yield a valuable, edible fat known in commerce as kokum butter.
It is extracted mostly as a cottage industry by crushing the kernels,
boiling the pulp in water and skimming off the fat from the top or
churning the crushed pulp with water. Presently oil is obtained by
solvent extraction also. The yield of oil (fat) is about 25%. Kokum
butter sold in market consists of egg shaped lumps or cakes of light gray
yellowish colour with a greasy texture and a bland oily taste. It is
used mainly as an edible fat and sometimes as an adulterant of ghee.
Refined and deodorized fat is white in colour and compares favourably
with high class hydrogenated fats (Nadkarni 1954; CSIR 1956).

Kokum rind contains 2 to 3 percent anthocyanin pigments. It is a promising
source of natural colourant for acid foods. Processing condition have been
standardized at CFTRI, Mysore for commercial scale extraction and
purification of the pigment concentration. Preliminary studies have shown
that cyanidin-3-sambubioside and cyanin-3-glucoside as the major pigments
present in the ratio of 4:1. Food applications for kokum colour are in the
area of processed fruit products, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages,
preservatives and instant foods (Krishnamurthy et al. 1982).

Characteristic s and composition of G. indica fat (kokum butter)
(jameisen et al. 1943) are as follows :
Character Value
M.P. 39.5 ~V40.00 C
Sap. Equiv. 299.5
Iodine value 37.4
Unsapen matter % 1.4
Free fatty acids (% as oleic) 7.2
Component fatty acids (% by weight)
Palmitic 2.5
Stearic 56.4
Arachidic -
Olein 39.4
Linolein 1.7
Component glycerides (% by mol)
Tristearin 1.5
Oleodistearin 68
Oleopalmitostearin 8
Palmitodiolein 20
Triolein 2
The acid in kokum rind (dry) has been identified as hydroxycitric acid
and is present to the extent of 15 percent. A new fat soluble pigment
namely, garcinol has been isolated from the fruit rind. Chemical
identify of this pigment has been established by chemical and spectral
studies (Krishnamurthy et al. 1981).

The composition of fresh kokum rind is as follows (Sampathu & Krishnamurthy
1982):

Moisture (%) 80.00
Protein (Nx 6.25)% 1.92
Crude fibre (%) 14.28
Total ash (%) 2.57
Tannine (%) 2.85
Pectin (%) 5.71
Starch (%) 1.00
Crude fat (%) 10.00
(Hexane extract)
Acid (as hydroxy citric acid) 22.80
Pigment (%) 2.40
Ascorbic acid (%) 0.06
Carbohydrates by difference(%) 35.00
(Values are expressed on moisture free basis)

Uses

The fruit has an agreeable flavour and a sweetish acid taste. Kokum has
been traditionally used as an acidulant. It is used in the Konkan region,
chiefly in the form of kokum as a garnish, to give an acid flavour to
curries and also for preparing cooling syrups (CSIR 2956). For the
traditional fish curry of the Konkan coast and Goa, kokum ,rind is a usual
ingredient. The dried rind, strained in water, is boiled into a soup called
solkadi. Spiced and sweetened with jaggery it is a must for marriage feasts
and functions in Uttara Kannada District of Karnataka. It is considered to
promote digestion. Wine red syrup, extracted from the rind of the ripe
fruit with the help of sugar, is stored in the households of this region for
making cool drinks in summer (CSIR 1956). The sweet pulpy cover of the
weeds is eaten or made into curries. The fruit is also pickled (Subhash
Chandra 1996).

Kokum butter is suitable for use as a confectionery butter. It is also
suitable for making candle and soap. It possesses properties similar to
piney tallow (from Vateria indica) and may be employed in the sizing of
cotton yarn (Williams 1950; CSIR 1956; Muhammed et al. 1994).

The fruit of G. indica is anthelmintic and cardiotonic and useful for
treatment of piles, dysentery, tumours, pains and heart complaints. A syrup
from the fruit juice is given in bilious affections. The root is astringent
(Krishnamurthy et al. 1981; Sampathu & Krishnamurthy 1982).

Kokum butter is considered nutritive, demulcent, astringent and emollient.
It is suitable for ointments, suppositories and other pharmaceutical
purposes. It is used for local application to ulcerations and fissures of
lips, hands etc. The cake left after extraction of oil is used as a manure
(CSIR 1956).

Kokum butter is used as a specific remedy for diarrhea and dysentery. It is
now being used in cosmetics and medicines known as Vrikshamla in Ayurveda.
Various parts of the tree like root, bark and fruit and seed oil are used
for treating piles, spruce and abdominal disorders (Subash Chandra 1996).

OTHER GARCINIA SPECIES

Four species are economically very important in India but only three are
cultivated. Garcinia indica Choisy is the source of Kokum, extensively
grown in the Konkan coast. It also provides Kokum butter used in cuisine
and local medicine. The dried rind is used for garnishing curries and in
the preparation of cooling syrups. In Kerala, G. gummigutta (L.) Rob (G.
cambogia (Gaertn.) Desr.), locally known as kodampuli or kodapulin is
traditionally grown in homesteads for the fruit rind that is used in
garnishing fish curries, in ayurvedic preparations and polishing gold and
silver. G. mangostina L. is cultivated for its delicious fruit in lower
Nilgiris, Courtallam and other parts of South India. G. morella Desr. Is
still seen mostly in the wild and is the principal source of gamboges used
in medicine.

1. Garcinia gummigutta (L) Rob. Syn. G. cambogia (Gaertn.) Desr. The tree is
locally known as kodampuli/kodapuli, distributed from Konkan to Southwards
in the Western Ghats upto Nnilgiris. The dried fruit rind is used for
garnishing fish curries in Kerala. It is prescribed in ayurveda for
ailments as varied as rheumatism,,, rickets, enlargement of spleen, uterine
complaints and in animal disorders. The translucent yellow resin is used as
a purgative. The rind is also used for polishing silver and gold and
coagulating rubber latex.

2. Garcinia cowa Roxb. The tree was located in one of the farms of State
Agriculture Department in Cannanore district of Kerala probably introduced
from ,elsewhere. The tree is huge compared to kodampuli. Though it
resembles it, the leaves are large and the fruits are smooth hanging orange
colour both outside and inside having the size of Kokum fruits but highly
acidic. The tree is a hermaphrodite one with 7 anthers compared to
kodanmpuli. The identification as G. cowa needs verification. The tree is
reported to be common in Eastern India and the Andamans. Fruits are used
for making jams and preserves. A yellow dye is also obtained from the bark.
A resin is also obtained and is used as a varnish for metalic surfaces.
Tender leaves are reported to be eaten as vegetable.

3. Garcinia hombroniana Pierre: The tree resembles mangosteen and hence
nurseries mistakenly sell the seedlings as mangosteen. It is supposed to be
a good rootstock for mangosteen but the growth is extremely poor. The tree
is susceptible to drought but more adapted to marshy areas and root suckers
are very common.

It is distributed in Nicobar islands and produces red coloured fruits in
clusters which are edible though acidic in nature. The timber is useful for
house building and preparation of oars. This species is graft compatible
with kodampuli.

4. Garcinia mangostana L. It yields the fruit, mangosteen. However, the
rind is used in ayurveda against diarrhea and dysentery and is effective in
skin infections. A Yellow resin is also prepared from ,the rind containing
the bitter principle mangostin. The fruits suffer from gamboge disorder.

5. Garcinia morella Desr. (Syn. Mangostana morella gaertn.) The trees are
seen on the banks of rivers and resemble kodampuli but the fruits are small
and smooth. This tree is the original source of gamboges used in medicine.
The tree is distributed in Western Ghats, Assam, and Khasi Hills. The
gamboges is astringent, tonic aphrodisiac, antibacterial, verminfuge,
amenorrhoea, antibacterial properties. This species is graft compatible to
kodampuli.

6. Garcinia xanthochymus Hook
Syn. G. tinctoria (DC) Wright
G. pictorius (Roxb,,0 d. Arey
Xanthochymus pictorius Roxb.
Xanthochymus tinctorius DC

The tree is quite common in the Western Ghats, lower Hills of Eastern
Himalayas and Andamans. In Kerala, it is called ~QAnavaya~R meaning
~Qelephant mouth~R. The fruits are relished by the children. A shade
loving tree preferring cool, humid or moist areas. It has large oblong
leaves that are smooth. The yellow fruit is used for preparation of
jams, and preserves and as a substitute for tamarind. The gamboge
obtained from the bark is inferior. Exudates from bark and fruit are
used as dye. It is not graft compatible with kodampuli or mangosteen in
the long run.

7. Garcinia malabarica Gamble

The tree was located in Munnar from high elevtions of Kerala. The trees
are of medium size with thick oblong leaves resembling G. xanthochymus to
which it is easily graftable. The shoots have red pigmentation. The
fruit is slightly less than the size of kodampuli. The tree is slow
growing and identification needs confirmation To conclude, it is
imperative to collect and conserve the existing variability of Garcinias
in this era of depleting bioresources. The priority species are G.
indica, G. gummigutta, G. morella and G. mangostina

KOKAM (Garcinia indica choisy):

INTRODUCTION, VARIETAL IMPROVEMENT AND PROMISING TYPES

Kokum is an important minor fruit belonging to family Guttiferae. The kokum
Garcinia indica which has 2n = 54 is a slender evergreen tree. There are
approximately 400 species of Garcinia identified so far of which 40 are
known to be edible. Burkill (1966) described 24 species that are used for
various purposes. While Allen (1967) mentioned six commonly grown species
for their fruit in Malaya. Garcinia indica (Kokam) is found to grow widely
in tropical rain forests of western ghats in Kokan, Goa, South Karnataka and
Kerala. It is also reported to flourish in evergreen forests of Assam,
Khasi, Jayantia hills, West Bengal and Surat district of Gujarat. There are
no regular orchards of this fruit tree. The trees are found scattered over
road jungles, back yards. Waste lands and also in coconut and areca nut
gardens. A full tree of Kokam attains a height of 16 to 20 meters.
According to survey conducted of the erstwhile Bombay State out of the total
46000 trees, about 43000 trees are in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts
only.

From ripe Kokum fruit rind a refreshing drink called as Amrit Kokam is
prepared Dried ripe Kokam rind known as Amsol is used in curry In place of
tamarind. The Kokum seed oil (fat) called as Kokum butter in commerce is
very famous in cosmetic industries.

Kokum is said to be dioecious, but seems, to be highly variable in sex forms
like papaya (Carica papaya). Variability also exist of the fruit. So far
no any variety has been reported in Kokam (Garcinia indica). Khanvilkar
(1984) and Khanvilkat et al. (1986, 1987) made an effort to evaluate certain
types in Kokum for tgeur 0ogysuci-chemical composition and yield and
reported that genotypes KK-87, KK-155, KK-76, KK-153 and K149 as promising
in respect of fruit yield and fruit numbers. Considering the economic
importance of this fruit serious efforts have to be made to develop and
evolve an ideo type in Kokam.

PROPAGATION AND CULTURAL PRACTICES OF KOKUM

Kokum is propagated on large scale by seeds. However, due to its dioecious
nature, about 50 per cent seedlings turn out to be males. Only female trees
produce fruits. Besides it, being a very slow grower, takes about 7 to 8
years for first flowering. At present no method is available to detect the
sex of plant in seedling stage and hence after retaining about 10% male
plants, rest have to be culled or converted into female tree by side
grafting. Further seed propagated plants show varying ability in cropping,
fruit size, shape and time of harvest of fruits.

For raising seedlings, fruits are collected from early maturing, heavy
yielding plants having bold size fruits. After extraction, seeds are washed
thoroughly in water and dried for 3 to 4 days. Then seeds are sown in small
polythene bags (5.0 x 7.0 cm) about 2 cm depth. For early germination,
seeds may be soaked in water for about 2 days. Seeds germinate in about
12-15 days. These seedlings are nursed for one year before planting in the
field.

Vegetative propagation :

For ensuring female trees and uniformity in yield and quality of fruits
different methods of vegetative propagation were tried.

It was found that inarch grafting is successful on 10 to 18 month old
seedlings of Kokum, when done in the month of December-January. For
grafting purpose about 3-4 month old up-right growing shoots from scion
plant should be selected. If horizontal growing scion shoot is used, the
graft will have straggling habit with top heaviness on one side. About n90%
success is observed in inarch grafting method.

Recently soft wood grafting has been found to be successful and more easier
than inarching for soft wood grafting 9-12 month. Old seedlings and 3 to 6
month old scion are suitable. The method of grafting is similar to softy
wood grafting in mango and cashew. The period from April-May is suitable.
Graft union occurs within 2 months. About 80% success is observed in this
method.

Preparation of land and planting :

Before planting the area should be cleared by removing bushes and trees in
the month of April-May. Pits of 60 x 60 x 60 cm are dug at 6 x 6.0 m
spacing. At the end of May pits are filled up with good soil, about 10 kg
F.Y.M. and 1.0 kg single super phosphate or bonemeal. In each pit about 100
g 50% B.H.C. powder may be added to protect the seedling from termite
attack. Kokam can be grown as avenue tree or planted on the fence for
beautification and as a source of income.

At the onset of monsoon, one year old vigorously growing seedling or graft
is planted per pit. At the time of planting root ball should be kept
intact. When graft is used. The care is taken to keep the graft union above
the soil surface. Soil around the graft/seedling is firmly pressed and a
support of split bamboo stick is provided.


After cares :

After planting, seedlings/grafts are required to be protected from ,stray
cattles. In the first year, for protecting the young seedlings from
,scorching heat, over head shade is provided from October. Weeds should
be removed from time to time for good growth of seedlings/grafts. For
the initial two years, about 10 litres of water be given per week per
plant during winter and summer months. Mulching of dry grass may be done
around the basin of plant to conserve the soil moisture.
Manure and fertilizer application :

At present, Kokum trees are rarely manured. Therefore, very low yields are
obtained from them. No research work has been carried out on the manorial
and fertilizer requirement of Kokum. As Kokum is a perennial crop bearing
crop every year, it is necessary to give manure and fertilizers for higher
yields. On ad-hoc basis, Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth has recommended following
manure and fertilizer dose per year.

In the first year, each plant should be applied with 2 kg F.Y.M., 50 g n, 25
g p2o5 and 250 g k2o. This dose is increased every year and from
,tenth year each plant may be given 20 kg F.Y.M,. 500 g n, 250 g p2o5 and
250 g k2o. Manure and fertilizers are applied by ring method under the
canopy of the plant during the month of August, after the heavy rains are
over.

During the early 10 to 12 years after planting, rainfed crops like sweet
potato, vegetables, flowering annuals and stylo grass can be taken as inter
crops.

After 7 to 8 years after planting, sex of the seedling plants is known.
Keep only 10% of the male plants, well scattered in the orchard for the
proper pollination and fertilization. Rest of the male plants can be
converted into female trees by side grafting in the month of August-
September. In side grafting about 70% success has been observed. Harvesting
:

In Kokum flowering starts from October-November and continues upto
February. Fruits are ready for harvesting during the months of March to
June. When fruits turn from green to reddish in colour, they are plucked
carefully by hand.

At present, most of the cultivated plants of Kokum are of seedling origin
most of them are in neglected condition. Hence, there is wide variation in
the yield, fruit shape, size, quality and time, of maturity. From, properly
cared plantation from 15 year onwards about 30 to 50 kg fruit yield can be
obtained
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