|Scientific name||Simarouba glauca. DC|
|Common name||Paradise tree|
The origin of simarouba is the tropical region of combat America. It is found growing in Mexico to Panama, southern Florida to West Indies. Simarouba was introduced to kenya in 1957. It was introduced to India during early 1960’s. In El salvader simarouba is found at elevations ranging from sea level to 1000 meter.
Simarouba is a medium sized evergreen tree growing upto 7-15 meter in height. It has tap root system and canopy spreads to about 3-5 meters radius from the main trunk. The bark is brown and the wood is cream yellow in colour and soft, sap wood and heart wood connot be earily distinguished. The branching begins close to the ground at a height of 50 – 80 cm from the ground. Leaves are alternate, imparipinnate compound with oblong leaf lets measuring 2.5-3.5 x 8.0 – 12.00 cm in size. The upper surface is dark green shiny glabrous and the lower surface dull green.
It can grow well in tropical climate condition. Simarouba can adapt to the poor degraded soils of semi-arid and arid condition. It can grow with the temperature range between 10-40 0c. It is sun loving plant shading affects the flowering and fruit setting. Simarouba requires 700-1000 mm rainfall for normal growth but it can adapt to the range to 300 mm to 3000 mm rainfall.
Simarouba can adapt itself to varying soil conditions, from sandy lateritic, gravelly to black soils and with a pH ranging from 5 to 9.0. Clayey such with poor drainage and poor aeration are not suitable for its growth.
Simarouba is polygamodioceious with three types of plants namely pastille (tree bearing only female flowers) staminate (trees bearing may male flowers) and undromonuecious (tree- bearing both male and hermoprodile flowers). The flowers are bracteate, pedicellate actinomorphic, generally pentermerous, calyx with 5 sepads, gamosepalous, valvate, sepals 1.0 mm long, corolla with 5 petals, poly petalous twisted aestivation. Petal 4.0-6.0 mm long, the largest once in bisexual flowers followed by that in male flowers and the shortest in female flowers. Both wind pollination and honeybee, pollination takes place in simarouba.
Flowering is annual, beginning in December and continuing up to following February. Flowers are yellow in colour. From and anthesis to ripening of fruit it takes 80-90 day. They are ready for harvest by April / May. Fruits purple or yellow in colour, oval elongated 1cm to 3cm in length. In Kali variety it is purple while in Gouri variety it is yellow colour.
The selected nut lets after depulping are sown immediately after harvest in seed bed and watered regularly. When the seedlings attain two leaf stage they can be transferred to polythine bags containing, sand soil and FYM mixture. This operation is done during April/ May. The seedlings raised during April/May will be ready for transplant to main field during following monsoon.
Pits of 45x45x45 cm size are dug and FYM and topsoil is added to the pit. Transplanting is done in the beginning of monsoon so that the plants can establish very well by the end of rainy season. In saline soils planting is done on raised bands. Seedlings grow well if protective irrigation in given during summer for first two years. Mulching also helps in soil moisture conservation. Pruning of lateral branches in the beginning of 2-3 years helps the tree grow tall. The tree starts bearing from 4th year onwards.
Pests and diseases:
Generally cattle do not browse on simarouba and it has got no major posts. Few pests which cause damage to the plant are bark feeder, mites, tea mosquito, leaf miner and almond moth. There is no serious disease of simarouba. In nursery some have damping off and with are noticed. In grown up trees rarely sooty mold in seen.
Wood: It is useful in making Agriculture implements. Light furniture, toys, packing material and it can be used as fuel.
Green manure: leaf litter and pressed cake are very good organic manure. The pressed cake contain 7.7 to 8.1 % nitrogen. 1.07 % phosphores 1.24 % potash.
Medicine: The leaf, bark and root extract is used to cure amoeboisis, diarrhoea and malaria.
Oil: Seeds are economically important and they contain 60-65% oil. It can used as edible also non edible purpose oil can be used for making surfactants, detergents, soaps, cosmetics, lubricants points, varnishes.
Simarouba oil and biodiesel