Andhra Pradesh Forest Department - Silviculture of Species

Saraka asoka, (Roxb.) De Wilde

(Syn. S. indica)

Family: Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae

Common Name : The Ashoka Tree

Telugu Name : Asoka

General :

It is generally found wild along streams or in the shades of evergreen forests. It is frequent in the hill forests of Visakhapatnam district. Frequently planted especially in gardens and near temples. Identified by the glabrous and remarkable phenomenon of producing drooping young leaves without chlorophyll.

Flowering :

The cluster of scented, orange or red flowers appear from February or May to June.

Fruiting :

Fruits ripen in August to September.

Morphology of the Fruit/Seed :

Pods 12.5 to 25 cms by 4 to 5 cms. In size; black, compressed, tapering at both the ends, coriaceous or almost woody, glabrous, veined. Seeds 4 to 8, ellipsoid-oblong, 3.8 cms long, slightly compressed.

Seed Collection and Storage :

Seeds are collected from mature pods in September. The seeds retain viability only for two months.

Seed Biology :

No. of seeds per Kg.

Germination percentage

Period of germination in days

97

58 to 100

30 to 60

Pretreatment:

Not required.

Nursery Technique :

Seeds are put in polybags of bigger size soon after collection and covered with a thin layer of leaf mould mixed with earth and regularly watered on dry days. Germination starts from 4 th week and completed by end of 12 th week. Seedlings are fit for planting at the beginning of rains in second year.