Sopanut tree, Povankottai

Sapindus emerginatus



General Information :

  • It is medium sized to large deciduous tree with spreading crown.
  • Bark rough grey in color.
  • Flowers numerous bisexual.
  • Flesh fruit with black seeds.

Distribution :

  • The tree is native India and widely scattered.

Habitat : Deciduous forests and margins of grasslands

Soil : Wide varieties of soil

Soil pH : 6-6.5

Altitude :Up to 1200 m (MSL)

Rainfall :500-2000m

Temperature : 40-47 de C

Terrain : Plain / hilly

Tree Characteristics :
  • Sensitive to frost.

Habit : Deciduous tree

Planting Guidelines

Natural Regeneration :

  • It is propagated by seed.

Artificial Regeneration :

  • Easily propagated by direct sowing.

Seed collection and Storage :

  • •    The fruits are collected in February-April.•    They dried in the sun to break open the seeds.•    Seeds are viable for 2 years.•    The seed rate 2000-2500/Kg•    The germinative percentage is 60 - 70 and •    Plant percentage is about 60 - 62.

Seed Treatment :

•    No pre-treatment is necessary.

Nursery Technique :

  • The seeds may be sown during the onset of monsoon.
  • Seeds are sown in mother bed during March – April.
  • Germination stats in a week and complete in a month.
  • Beds are regularly watered and weeded.
  • 3-4 months old nursery raised seedlings are fit for planting.

Plantation technique :

  • 3-4 month old seedlings are planted out on the onset of monsoon.Pit size 30 cm3with spacing of 3 m x 3 m or 5 m x 5 m .

Care & Disease Control :

  • Plantation should be weed free with proper soil working measures.

Recommended Harvest :

  • 10-25 years.

Major uses :

  • It is chiefly cultivated for its fruit and sold under the trade name of “ Rittaor Soap nut.”
  • It is used as a substitute for soap in washing silk, woolen and other delicate articles.
  • The wood is locally used for making small articles.

Market details :

  • Approximately Rs.2600 to Rs.3000/ton.