Andhra Pradesh Forest Department - Silviculture of Species
Soymida febrifuga, A. Juss
(Syn. Swietenia febrifuga)
Family : Meliaceae
Common Name : Indian Red Wood
Telugu Name : Somi

General :

Common in all dry deciduous forests of the State. Identified by greyish greenparipinnate alternate leaf, the red petioles and viens of young leaves. Recommended for plantations on lime soils, black cotton soils, dry stony hills of laterite and kankar.

Flowering :

Large panicles of small greenish white flowers appear in February - May.

Fruiting :
The capsules ripen in May to June.
Morphology of the Fruit / Seed :
Capsules 2.5 to 5 cms long, 5-celled, the 5 valves separating from the dissepiments which remain attached to the thick spongy axis. Seeds numerous in each cell, flat, winged at both ends with a soft felly covering.
Seed Collection and Storage :
In nature, the seeds are dispersed by wind. The felty cover over the seed acts as protection and also for absorption of moisture. For the artificial propagation, the fruits are collected from the trees in May-June before they dehisce and dried in the sun to separate the seeds. Seed loses viability quickly.
Seed Biology :
No. of seeds per Kg.
Germination percentage
Plant percent
Germination period in days
No. of seedlings per Kg. of seed
9,880 to 13,340
28 to 51
25 to 28
10 to 21
3,000 to 3,300
Pretreatment :
Soaking the seed in cold water for 24 hours.
Nursery Technique :

It can be raised better by directly sowing of the seed, or by planting out seedlings from a nursery. As it is very slow growing, (2.5 to 5 cms in first year), it is not a much preferred species. As it is drought resistant, it can be tried in drought prone areas.