Oroxylum indicum is a medicinal plant of immense medicinal importance. It is a small to medium size deciduous tree with large, It flat, sword shape capsular fruits of many flat and papery seeds with broad silver wings . The plant is used in many Ayurvedic preparations like, Shyonakapatpak and Bruhatpanchamulayadi kwath, Dashmula and Chyawanprash, Rasayana, Amratarista, Dantyarista, Dhanwantara, Ghrita, Narayana Taila etc. O. indicum is an indigenous tree of the Indian subcontinent, distributed throughout the country up to an altitude of 1200m .
It is distributed in Himalayan foothills, Eastern and Western Ghats and North East India . It is located mainly in ravines, in damp region and moist places in the forests. The plant usually flowers in the month of June-July and bears fruits in November- December. This tree has long pods that dangle from the branches. When the pod bursts open the seeds flutter to the ground, often travelling some distance, looking like butterflies. The seeds are propagated by wind, which germinate by the beginning of the rainy season. The seeds can easily be recognized as the rather small, kidney shaped seeds are surrounded by a light brown, papery wing up to 5 cm in diameter. The seeds are flat and winged with exalbuminous capsules which are arranged in sheets inside the pods.
The seeds of Oroxylum indicum have immense therapeutical and ethno botanical uses. Dried seed powder is used by women to induce conception in ethnic communities. Seeds of O. indicum are used as purgative. The germination of the seeds is a complex process where several reactions and individual factors are involved. According to the literature review it was found that the seeds of Oroxylum indicum have poor seed setting and low seed viability. Destructive and non-sustainable collection methods coupled with low regeneration and habitat destruction have caused serious threat to the survival and availability of this highly useful tree.
Seed germination studies on O. indicum have been carried out by some of the following researchers. Tiwari et al. developed a method to regenerate plant seedlings from callus cultures of nodal segments. Gokhale and Bansal developed a protocol for micro propagation of O. indicum where seeds were germinated in vitro and the apical and axillary buds were inoculated under aseptic conditions on MS sterile culture medium. Pande and Gupta studied on the role seed mycoflora on seed germination of O. indicum and impact of osmotic stress on the seed germination and seedling growth of O.indicum. Effect of temperature and plant growth regulators on seed germination response of O. indicum was studied by Singh et al. Studies on the effect of different seed sources on germination parameters have been studied by various researchers on various tree species like Pinus wallachiana, Santalum album, Tamarindus indica, Hippophae salicifolia, Vateria indica L., Acacia catechu and Elaeocarpus floribundus species etc. However, the study of different seed sources effect on the germination of O. indicum has not been studied so far by any researcher. Bhat and Chauhan and Mamo et al. have also reported that seed source variation tests are necessary to select dominant seed source for plantation for higher productivity. So the present study was taken on this objective to see the effect of source variation on seed germination of O. indicum and simultaneously developing economic, cost effective and feasible method to attain quality seedling stock for the farmers interested in cultivation of O.indicum.