Monday, 30 June 2014

Syzygium cumini

Botanical name: Syzygium cumini

Common names:
jambul, Java plum, jamun, jambolan,
Black plum, Jamun, Kalojam or Jam.

Family: Myrtaceae


Syzygium cumini is fast-growing tree ranges up to 30m in India and Oceania; 12-15m in Florida. The bark on the lower part of the tree is rough, cracked, flaking and discolored. The fruit is round or oblong, often curved, usually turns from green to light-magenta, then dark-purple or nearly black as it ripens. The fruit is usually astringent, sometimes unpalatably so, and the flavor varies from acid to fairly sweet.

Syzygium cumini trees start flowering from March to April.

The flowers are fragrant and small, about 5 mm in diameter. S. cumini fruits develop by May or June and resemble large berries.

Ecology/environment to grow/habitat:

Soil type:

The Syzygium cumini tree can be grown on a wide range of soils. However, for high yield potential and good plant growth, deep loam and a well-drained soil is needed. Such soils also retain sufficient soil moisture which is beneficial for optimum growth and good fruiting. It can grow well under salinity and waterlogged conditions too. However, it is not recommended to grow Syzygium cumini on very heavy or light sandy soils. Soil pH preference: 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic).


It is a tropical species which prefer mean annual temperatures around 25-27°C though will grow in sub-tropical areas, being sensitive to frost when young but mature trees have been undamaged by short frosts in southern Florida.


S. cumini grows best in wet regions with annual rainfall generally in excess of 1000 mm and up to 4000 mm, and even in some of the wettest places in the world (10,000 mm), though it will tolerate drier sites especially when established and on stony and/or gravely soils.

Land preference:

The S. cumini tree grows well from sea-level to 6,000 ft. (1,800 m) but, above 2,000 ft. (600 m) it does not fruit but can be grown for its timber.

The tree occurs in the tropical and sub-tropical climates under a wide range of environmental conditions. Syzygium cumini is native to Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

Economic Importance / Uses:

Wood uses: Sources of strong heavy timber which is commonly used for beams and rafters, posts, bridges, boats, oars, masts, troughs, well-lining, agricultural implements, carts, solid cart wheels, railway sleepers and the bottoms of railroad cars. It is a fairly satisfactory fuel.

Fruit uses: Jam fruit possesses considerable nutritive value. Apart from minerals, sugars, and proteins, it is a good source of iron also. Good quality jam juice is excellent for sherbet, Vinegar, syrup and "squash".

Medicinal Uses: The fruit is stated to be astringent, stomachic, carminative, antiscorbutic and diuretic. Cooked to a thick jam, it is eaten to allay acute diarrhea. The juice of the ripe fruit, or a decoction of the fruit, or jam vinegar, may be administered in India in cases of enlargement of the spleen, chronic diarrhea and urine retention.

Bark uses: Jam bark yields durable brown dyes of various shades depending on the mordant and the strength of the extract. The bark contains 8 to 19% tannin and is much used in tanning leather and preserving fishing nets.

Leaves uses: The leaves have served as fodder for livestock and as food for tassar silkworms.

Nectar uses: The jam tree is of real value in apiculture. The flowers have abundant nectar and are visited by bees.

Seed uses: Seed powder of Syzygium cumini has significantly 

reduced bith blood sugars (4-5) and fasting.

Other uses: The tree is grown as shade for coffee in India and being wind-resistant is sometimes planted in dense rows as a windbreak, and if topped regularly, such plantings form a dense, massive hedge.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Cedrus deodara

    <img src="Cedrus-deodara.jpg" alt="Cedrus deodara" />
Fig: Cedrus deodara

Binomial name: Cedrus deodara

Local name: Himalayan cedar, or deodar Hindi: devadar, Pakistan: deodar

Old leaves are shade for most part of hot season, chiefly in May. It is evergreen throughout the year and generally dioecious, if monoecious then autoeceous.
The Noble Fir does best in deep, moist, slightly acidic soils. It copes well in windy sites and in the wild is found on exposed mountain-sides. Some tolerance to shade when young.

Description :

It is a large evergreen coniferous tree  up to 50 m high and up to 3m in diameter. Crown conical when young, with drooping leader and branches drooping at the end, older trees rounded. Branches horizontally arranged, and end of the shoots pendulous. One-year shoots densely pubescent.
Flowers appear in September and October.
<img src="Cedrus-deodara-timber.jpg" alt="Cedrus deodara" />

<img src="Cedrus-deodara-fruits.jpg" alt="Cedrus deodara" />Global distribution: 
Species distribution: Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Pakistan Exotic range: Argentina, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain & Indian Sub-Continent. One of three cedars commonly found in Britain, this native of the Himalaya was introduced here in 1831. Its strong fragrant wood is used for timber in Pakistan and India but following a failed experiment to grow it commercially it is now grown purely for its ornamental value in the British Isles.

Natural Regeneration
Natural Regeneration Seed years: Every third year is a good seed year with abundant cone bearing trees. Seed dispersed in Oct-Nov remains on the ground throughout the winter, under the snow and germinates in the spring during March-April germination takes earlier in the warmer than the cooler aspects.

Economic Importance:

1. A fairly wind-tolerant tree, it can be used in shelter-belt plantings.

2. It is widely grown as an ornamental tree, often planted in parks and large gardens for its drooping foliage.

3. The bark of cedar wood proves to be a good remedy in remittent and intermittent fevers, diarrhea and dysentery. The powder is used in the treatment of ulcers.

4. The inner wood of the plant is aromatic and is thus, used to make incense. The inner wood is also distilled to make essential oils.

5. The essential oil obtained from this plant is used as insect repellant on the feet of horses, cattle and camels, as insects avoid venturing close to it. 

Monday, 27 January 2014

Aegle marmelos

<img src="Aegle-marmelos.jpg" alt="Aegle marmelos" />
Binomial Name: Aegle marmelos

English name: Golden apple, stone apple.

Local Name: Bael

Family: Rutaceae


It is a mid-sized, deciduous, slender, aromatic, armed, gum-bearing tree growing up to 18 meters tall. Stem and branches light brown to green. Strong axillary spines present on the branches.

<img src="Aegle-marmelos-leaves.jpg" alt="Aegle marmelos" />
<img src="Aegle-marmelos-fruit.jpg" alt="Aegle marmelos" /><img src="Aegle-marmelos-flowers.jpg" alt="Aegle marmelos" />

Leaves alternate, pale green, trifoliate; terminal leaflets, 5.7 cm long, 2.8 cm broad, having a long petiole; two lateral leaflets, almost sessile, 4.1cm long, 2.2 cm wide, ovate to lanceolate having reticulate pinnate venation petiole.


Flowers, greenish white, sweetly scented bisexual, actinomorphic, ebracteate, hypogynous, and stalked; 5 petals, imbricate, leathery, pale yellow from above and green from beneath, length 4mm.


Fruit 2 ½ to 3 ¼ inches in diameter, globular or ovoid in shape, colour yellowish brown, outside surface hard and nearly smooth. It has a faint aromatic odour and mucilaginous taste.


Numerous, embedded in the pulp, oblong, compressed, white, having cotton-like hairs on the outer surface.


Bael occurs in dry forests on hills and plains of northern, central and southern India, Pakistan, southern Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.


1. The fruit is eaten fresh as Juice or dried. It is used commercially in jam making.

2. Essential oil of the Bael tree to be effective against 21 types of bacteria.

3. It is prescribed for smooth bowel movement to patients suffering from constipation and other gastrointestinal problems.

4. Unripe Bael fruit is effective in combating giardia and rotavirus.

5. The fruits are very useful in chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, The unripe and half-ripe fruits improve appetite and digestion.

6. The fruits are also used in making paints in Burma. Used as a substitute for soap, as source of essential oils and perfumes. The mucilage of the seed is a cementing material.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Differences between Aerobic and Anaerobic Respiration:

Aerobic Respiration

Anaerobic Respiration

1. Aerobic respiration takes place in the presence of free oxygen.

1. Anaerobic respiration takes place in the absence of free oxygen.

2. The first step of this process (glycolysis) takes place in cytoplasm while the second step (Krebs cycle) is carried out in mitochondria.

2. The complete process is carried out outside the mitochondria i.e., in the cytoplasm.

3. Glucose is completely oxidized into carbon dioxide and water.

3. Glucose is incompletely oxidized into carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol.

4. 38 molecules of ATP are produced by the complete oxidation of one gram-mole of glucose.

4. Only 2 molecules of ATP are formed in this process.

5. Aerobic respiration occurs in most cells.

5. Anaerobic respiration occurs in bacteria, yeasts, some prokaryotes, erythrocytes (red blood cells), and in muscle cells.