Discover the essential tips and techniques for successfully growing Manilkara Hexandra and learn how to nurture these stunning trees easily!
Manilkara hexandra is a magnificent tree that boasts not only beauty but also a myriad of beneficial properties. From its robust timber to its edible fruits, this evergreen tree has captured the attention of nature enthusiasts and gardeners alike.
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Manilkara Hexandra Information
Manilkara hexandra is a tree species belonging to the family Sapotaceae. It is native to the Indian subcontinent and can be found in various regions of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Thailand. It typically grows in tropical and subtropical evergreen forests, often found in lowland and hilly areas.
The tree can reach a height of up to 30 meters (98 feet) and has a dense, rounded crown.
The leaves are simple, alternate, elliptical to oblong in shape, and have a glossy, dark green appearance. The flowers are small, cream-colored, and are borne in clusters. The fruit is a berry-like drupe, spherical in shape and contains a single seed. The fruit turns from green to purplish-black when ripe.
Manilkara hexandra is not currently listed as globally threatened or endangered. However, like many other tropical tree species, it may face local threats due to habitat loss and deforestation.
Common Names: Ceylon Iron Wood, Kalpalai, Kannupalai, Milk Tree, Paala Maram and Wedge-leaved Ape Flower.
Common names of Manilkara hexandra in different Indian languages:
Hindi: रांझा (Raanjha), रौंझा (Rounjha)
Bengali: রৌঞ্জা (Rounjha)
Tamil: கடற்காடு புளிச்சி (Kadaikaadu Pulicci), காட்டுப் புளிச்சி (Kaattu Pulicci)
Telugu: కర్రతుమిడి (Karratumidi)
Kannada: ಕಟ್ಟುಮರ (Kattumara), ಹೆರುಳಿ ಮರ (Heruli Mara)
Malayalam: കരിമരം (Karimarum), ചാക്കര (Chakara)
Marathi: कडुल (Kadul), रांझा (Raanjha)
Gujarati: રૌંજા (Rounjha), રાંઝા (Raanjha)
Punjabi: ਰੌੰਝਾ (Rounjha), ਰਾਂਝਾ (Raanjha)
Odia: କରୀ ମର (Kari Mar)
Assamese: রাঞ্জা (Raanja)
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How to Propagate Manilkara Hexandra
Manilkara hexandra can be propagated through seeds and stem cuttings. Here’s how to propagate this plant using Seeds methods:
Propagation from Seeds:
- Seed Collection: Obtain mature and healthy seeds from the Manilkara hexandra tree. The seeds should be collected from ripe fruits.
- Seed Preparation: Clean the seeds and remove any fleshy pulp or fruit residue from the surface. Soaking the seeds in water for a few hours can help soften the seed coat and improve germination.
- Planting: Prepare a well-draining potting mix with a combination of sand, garden soil, and organic compost. Plant the seeds about 1-2 cm deep into the soil and cover them lightly.
- Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist, but avoid overwatering, as excessive moisture may lead to fungal issues.
- Germination: Place the pot in a warm and humid location with indirect sunlight. Germination usually takes a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on the conditions.
- Transplanting: Once the Manilkara hexandra seedlings have grown strong enough and have developed a few sets of true leaves, they can be transplanted to larger containers or directly into the ground.
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Requirements to grow Manilkara Hexandra
Manilkara hexandra thrives in full to partial sunlight. It prefers a location with bright, indirect light and protection from harsh afternoon sun, especially in hot regions of India.
Adequate sunlight is essential for robust growth and flowering.
The plant prefers well-draining, sandy loam soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. Good soil drainage is essential to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot.
Adding organic matter like compost can improve soil structure and nutrient availability.
Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water Manilkara hexandra whenever the top inch of soil feels dry. During the rainy season, reduce watering frequency to avoid waterlogged conditions.
Avoid excessive watering, as it can lead to root rot and other water-related issues.
Manilkara hexandra prefers a warm and humid climate. It can tolerate temperatures between 20°C to 35°C.Additionally, providing a consistently warm environment will promote healthy growth and flowering.
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Manilkara Hexandra Care
Use a balanced liquid fertilizer once in 2 months till Manilkara hexandra reaches to a height of 4-6 feet. After that, the tree will easily take care of its own.
Prune Manilkara hexandra regularly to maintain its shape and size. Remove dead or diseased branches, and encourage new growth. Additionally, pruning can be done during the dormant season or after flowering.
Proper pruning helps improve air circulation and enhances the overall appearance of the plant.
Pests and Diseases
Manilkara hexandra is relatively resistant to pests and diseases. However, keep an eye out for common issues like aphids scale insects, and fungal diseases. If pests are detected, use appropriate organic insecticides or horticultural oils to control them.
Avoid overwatering to prevent root rot and fungal problems, which are the primary causes of diseases in this plant.
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Harvesting Manilkara hexandra
Harvesting Manilkara hexandra fruits requires careful observation and timing. The fruit of Manilkara hexandra matures over several months before it is ready for harvest. Here’s how to harvest the fruits:
- Observation: Monitor the fruits as they develop on the tree. The fruit starts as small, green, and hard, and gradually grows in size and changes color as it matures.
- Color Change: When the fruit matures, it turns from green to a dark purplish-black color. This color change is a clear indication that the fruit is ready for harvest.
- Fruit Softening: In addition to the color change, the fruit will also soften when it is ripe. Gently squeeze the fruit to check for its ripeness. It should yield slightly to pressure but not be too mushy.
- Harvesting Time: The exact timing of harvest can vary depending on the climate and local conditions. In India, the fruit of Manilkara hexandra is typically ready for harvest during the late summer to early winter months, roughly from August to December.
- Harvesting Method: To harvest the fruits, carefully pluck them from the tree using your hand. It’s essential to handle the fruits gently to avoid bruising or damaging them.
- Post-Harvest Care: After harvesting, it’s best to consume the fruits promptly, as they have a limited shelf life once picked. If not consumed immediately, store them in a cool and dry place to extend their freshness.
By observing the color change, fruit softening, and the timing of the harvest, you can ensure that you pick ripe and delicious Manilkara hexandra fruits. Enjoy the sweet and flavorful taste of these fruits, which are a delightful reward for your patience and attention to the harvesting process.
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Uses of Manilkara Hexandra
Manilkara hexandra has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for its medicinal properties. Various parts of the tree, including the bark, leaves, and fruits, are used for treating various ailments. The bark is believed to have astringent and antidiarrheal properties.
Additionally, the fruits are consumed and used to make herbal remedies for digestive issues and respiratory problems.
The wood of Manilkara hexandra is durable and strong, making it suitable for construction purposes, such as in making furniture, beams, and poles. The tree also provides valuable non-timber forest products, including edible fruits and gum.