Andhra Pradesh Forest Department - Silviculture of Species
Sterculia urens, Roxb.
Family : Sterculiaceae
Common Name : Kateera Gum Tree
Telugu Name : Tapasi

General :

Very common in all forests. It is always conspicuous especially in hot season from the light coloured, almost white smooth bark. It grows in sandstone, quartzite (not on laterite) rock. It prefers ferruginous and rocky soil but avoids loam or heavier soils. It is a drought resistant species.

Flowering :

Flowers in crowded, erect, pyramidal panicles appear in December to March,

Fruiting :
The follicles ripen in April-May and shed the seeds.
Morphology of the Fruit / Seed :
Fruit of 4 to 5 sessile radiating follicles which are covered outside with stiff, stinging bristles; orange to bright red when ripe. Seeds 3 to 6 in each follicle, 6 mm long, oblong, dark brown and shining.
Seed Collection and Storage :
Before seed collection, the ground is kept clean and the follicles are allowed to burst on the tree and then seeds are collected from the ground. Otherwise, the follicle bunch is knocked off from the tree and dried in the sun so that the seeds burst out. The handling of the follicles becomes difficult because of stinging bristles. Seed can be stored easily for one year.
Seed Biology :
No. of seeds per Kg.
Germination percentage
Plant percent
Time taken for germination in days
No. of seedlings per Kg. of seed
5,500 to 6,360
32 to 77
18 to 90
10 to 15
1,150 to 1,500
Pretreatment :
Overnight soaking in ordinary water.
Nursery Technique :

Treated seeds are sown in polybags kept on hard surface in May without any shading. After germination, watering is done once a day and copper fungicide is applied to ward off damping off of the seedlings. 1 month old seedlings are planted out.