Tectona grandis Seeds
Tectona grandis produces a number of seeds which are used for propagation. An oil is obtained from these seeds which is used in various formulations. They belongs to Lamiaceae family. It is commonly known as teak. The specie is a tropical hardwood deciduous tree. It is native to Southeast Asia and Malaysia. Tectona grandis is also known by its synonyms including, Tectona theka and Theka grandis.
Tectona grandis Overview
Tectona grandis reaches up to 50 m tall. Young parts of plant are densely covered with stellate hairs. The leaves are elliptical in shape, 15-50 cm long and 10-40 cm wide. Leaf margins are entire. Their inflorescence is terminal cyme which are about 30-40 cm long. The flowers are up to 6 mm across. They are small, fragnant, white or rarely pinkish in colour. These flowers consists of both male and female reproductive organs. The flower period starts from Aug-Nov in Pakistan. First flower occurs at the age of 3-10 months, depending upon the climatic and soil conditions. They are mainly insect pollinated (entomophilous), but sometimes wind pollinated (anemophilous). The fruits are sub-globose to tetragonal in shape. They are usually 4 lobed at apex and 1.5 cm in diameter. The fruiting period starts from Sept-Dec.
Tectona grandis is found in a variety of habitats and climatic conditions. It ranges from arid areas with annual rainfall of 500 mm to moist forests with annual rainfall of 5000 mm. It is widely cultivated in many African countries for the account of naturally occurring teak. Myanmar’s forest produce nearly half of the world’s natural teak, therefore it is the one of the major producer of teak. It is highly valued for its durable and water resistant wood. The wood has a leather like smell when it is crushed and usually used in construction purposes.
Propagation of Tectona grandis through Seeds
Tectona grandis can be grown via seeds and tissue culture. Plantation via tissue culture is more successful. It is recommended to collect seeds from 20 years old tree. These seeds remains viable for 12 months. They can also be stored in cool and dry place for further use. These seeds require pre-treatment before sowing which breaks their dormancy. For this purpose, seeds are soak in water for 2 hours. Then they are spread in sun for drying up to 12 hours. This process is repeated for 10 to 14 days in order to break dormancy. Another method for breaking dormancy is to char (half burning). These seeds are covered with a thin seedcoat which can be removed by lighting it. Then, these seeds are sown in coarse peat soil covered with sand. The germination of seeds occurs short after 15 to 30 days.
How to take care of Tectona grandis Seedlings
- Elevation: Tectona grandis occurs at elevations from sea level to 1200 meters. It has ability to survive under a wide range of climatic and edaphic conditions.
- Exposure: The seedlings requires shade for their first year, then, they are moved to sunny position.
- Climatic Conditions: It prefers warm, moist and tropical climate usually.
- Soil: The most suitable soil for its germination is deep, fertile and well-drained.
- Soil pH: It prefer soil pH in the range of 6-7.5, but it can also tolerate 4-8 when matures.
- Rainfall: It ranges in the areas where annual rainfall ranges within 1200-2500 mm.
- Temperature: The seedlings cannot tolerate low temperatures and frost conditions. It required annual temperature within the range of 14-36˚C.
- Transplantation: Once the seedlings reach a height of 30 to 40 cm, they are transferred to their permanent position. The area for permanent plantation should be selected wisely. It should have well-drained and rich soil with adequate amount of sun exposure. Each tree is planted about 6 feet apart from each other. Weeds are removed by hands or herbicides are used. Each tree need 100 grams of a balanced fertilizer at the end of season.
Tectona grandis Seed Oil
The seeds of Tectona grandis are diuretic. They are processed to obtained seed oil. This oil is used to promote hair growth.
Tectona grandis Wood Features
The heartwood of Tectona grandis is yellowish in colour but darkens with age. It has a leather-like scent when it is cut. Its texture is hard and porous. It is durable even when not treated by varnish. It is believed that old Tectona grandis wood is more durable than newly cultivated wood. Its natural oil makes it pest and timber termite resistive.
Uses of Tectona grandis
Tectona grandis is known for its high oil content which is obtained from wood or bark. It is used to manufacture outdoor furniture, flooring, cutting boards and window frames etc. They are highly resistive to insect attack and termite damage. It is also resistive to fungi, rot and mildews. They have relatively low shrinkage ratio. It is a good choice due to its excellent structural timber. The wood powder is dissolved in hot water to make wood tar. An oil is extracted from roots which is used to treat inflammation and ringworm diseases. Flowers are used to treat bronchitis and urinary disorders. Root bark and leaves also produce yellowish-brown or reddish dye which is used for making paper, clothes and matting.