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The Tree

The Paradise Tree

Botanical name : Simarouba glauca DC.

Family : Simaroubaceae

Distribution
It is an exotic species introduced from El-Salvador of Central America. It is a versatile multipurpose tree, which can grow well even in the degraded soils. This tree is regarded as highly suitable for growing on both arable and non-arable wastelands.

Environmental requirement

Climate and Temperature

It grows well up to 1000m MSL. The temperature of the species is 10-50°C with an annual rainfall of 500-2200 mm.

Soil
In all types of well-drained soil with pH 5.5-8.0. However, a minimum of 1.0 m deep soil is preferred for its growth. Soils of shallow depth with canker underneath are relatively unfavourable for its growth.

Phenology
The tree starts flowering and fruiting at about three years of age. Flowering is annual beginning in December and continuing up to February. The tree starts bearing when they are 4-6 years old and reach stability in production of another 4-5 years.   The droplets (blackish purple in pink genotypes and brownish yellow in green genotypes) are ready for harvest by March/April. Season and duration of reproductive phenoperiods vary according to location and climate. Individual fruits have a development and ripening period of 1-2 months. Fruit is ellipsoid drupe, 2 - 2.5 cm long, with thin hard cuticle and juicy fruit pulp.

Utilization
All the parts of Simaruba are useful in one-way or the other. The seeds are considered economically important as they contain 50-65 per cent edible oil, which can be used in the manufacture of vanaspathi. As industrial oil, it is well suited for the manufacture of quality soaps, lubricants, paints, polishes, pharmaceuticals, etc. (Syamsundar Joshi and Shantha Hiremath, 2000). The pressed cake resulting from the milling operation contains a very high percentage of protein (64%) and can be used as a cattle feed after the extraction of toxic elements. The pressed cake is also being utilized as organic fertilizers. The shells (endocarp) can be used in the cardboard industry. Pulp (about 20 kg/tree/year) constituting about 60 per cent of the fresh fruit by weight contains about 11% sugars and It can be used for juice making or in the fermentation industry. Leaf litter is a good feed for earthworms and it makes good manure. The leaf and the bark contain the chemical viz. quassin, a resinous matter which is helpful in curing amoebiasis, diarrhoea and malaria.