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(Hindi) : kakar singhi, kakkar, kakra, kakring, kakroi
Pistacia integerrima is a multi-branched, single stemmed, deciduous tree, up to 25 m tall. The tree has low/dense crown base and roots deeply. Leaves large, up to 25 cm long, pinnate (frequently paripinnate) leaves bearing 2-6 pairs of lanceolate, long leaflets. The terminal leaflet is much smaller than the lateral ones or even reduced to a mucro. Inflorescence red. The fruits are globular, apiculate, 5-6 mm in diameter, purplish or blue at maturity and with a bony endocarp. The name of Pistacia derives from the Persian name ‘pisteh’ or ‘pesteh’. Classification within the genus Pistacia has been based on leaf morphology and geographical distribution.
Ecology and distributionNatural Habitat
P. integerrima is mainly Asiatic and shows a preference for dry slopes with shallow soils. The tree does not tolerate fire and is strongly susceptible to acidic soils. However it is wind firm, termite resistant, frost hardy and moderately drought resistant.
Native : India
Exotic : United States of America
Biophysical limitsAltitude: 800-1 900 m Mean annual temperature: Mean annual rainfall: 1 270 mm Soil type: Prefers well drained deep entisols and inceptisols and is tolerant to heavy clay soils.
This is a dioecious tree shedding its leaves during the dry season and is wind pollinated. Flowers from March-May and fruits from June-October. Pistacia atlantica and P. integerrima interbreed.
Propagation and managementPropagation methodsWildlings, direct seed sowing and use of stumps are used to propagate the tree. In experimental trials, P. integerrima proliferated well in a modified MS medium with 1 mg benzyladenine (BA)/litre. The best rooting in P. integerrima was obtained by rooting microcuttings in vivo after application of IBA.
Management by pruning, lopping, and pollarding improves the tree form factor of P. integerrima. The tree should be protected from browsers P. integerrima seedlings are susceptible to strongly alkaline soils. This is a light demanding species. A nursery time of 12-18 months is recommended. Rhizoctonia solani is controlled in the nursery by the addition of pentachloronitrobenzene [quintozene] in planting medium and by maintaining clean greenhouse benches.
Best results are found with the 2 cm sowing depth and with seeds treated with concentrated sulfuric acid for 20 min. The seeds have a germination rate of 30%. There are 8 000 to 19 000 seeds /kg. A pretreatment of soaking in water for 24 hours improves germination.
Functional usesProductsFodder: Shoots and leaves used as medium quality fodder. Fuel: Fuelwood and charcoal are obtained from P. integerrima. Timber: Timber used in house construction, carving, furniture manufacture, farm implements, musical instruments and thatch. The timber can also be used in veneer and plywood manufacture. Tannin or dyestuff: Dyestuff obtained from insect galls, bark and leaves. Essential oil: The essential oil obtained by steam-distillation of Kakra Singi, the indigenous drug prepared from P. integerrima contains: alpha -pinene (25%.), camphene (27%.), di-limonene (4-5%), 1:8-cineol (10%.), alpha -terpineol (20%.), and aromadendrene (4-5 per cent.); also a small percentage of a lactonic stearoptene. 15% by volume of the oil is caprylic acid. Medicine: P. integgerima galls are used in traditional medicine to treat coughs, asthma, diarrhoea, dysentery, fever, vomiting, appetite loss, nose bleeding, snake bites and scorpion stings. The plant extracts are used in treating livestock diseases. Other products: Pistacigerrimones C and D from P. integerrima have significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity.
Erosion control: Important in river bank stabilization and soil conservation. Shade or shelter: P. integerrima provides considerable shade. Reclamation: P. integerrima can be used in wasteland afforestation programmes. Soil improver: P. integerrrima is used for improved fallows and the leaves are used as green manure. Ornamental: Grown as an ornamental, much appreciated for its crimson leaf colour in the fall. Intercropping: P. integerrima is a multipurpose tree of agroforestry interest. Pollution control: In India the tree is used in water purification.
Pests and diseasesP. integerrima is susceptible to Verticillium wilt. Rhizoctonia solani AG-4 has been reported from pistachio rootstock seedlings. Some foliar diseases identified are: leaf spot caused by Cercospora megaspermae, leaf spot caused by Septoria pistaciae, yellow leaf rust caused by Uraecium sp. and brown leaf rust caused by Pileolaria pistaciae.
BibliographyAnsari SH and Ali M. 1996. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity of tetracyclic triterpenoids isolated from Pistacia integerrima galls. Fitoterapia. 67(2): 103-105.
Bhardwaj LN and Sharma RC. 1994. Some new fungal diseases of Pistacia integerrima from Himachal Pradesh. Indian Forester. 120(6): 545-547.
Holtz BA et al. 1996. First report of Rhizoctonia solani (AG-4) on pistachio rootstock seedlings. Plant Disease. 80(11): 1303.
Padulosi S et al. 1996. Taxonomy, distribution, conservation and uses of Pistacia genetic resources. Report of a workshop, 29-30 June 1995, IPGRI.
Raabe RD and Wilhelm S. 1978. Susceptibility of several Pistacia spp. to Verticillium albo-atrum. Plant Disease Reporter. 62(8): 672-673.
Shankar K and Shankar U. 1946. Chemical investigations on Kakra Singi, Pistacia integerrima. Part I-The essential oil. J. Sc. Industr. Res. India 5(5): 60-5. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, India.
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