Xylarium is a collection of well-curated authenticated wood specimens. It is mainly intended to display collection of wood specimens for scientific research, teaching, environmental education and other programmes. The word ‘xylarium’ has been originated from Greek word ‘xylon’ meaning ‘wood’ and is used as ‘wood collection with proven and certified accuracy’. Wood collections may seem to be primarily of interest to wood anatomists, botanists and foresters, but they hold specimens and information applicable to many other fields such as antiques, furniture restoration, forensics, history, ecology, palaeontology, archaeology, conservation biology and climate change etc. As a service to the wood anatomical community, these collections will be of great use in wood anatomical studies, wood identification etc. Since India is a net importer of industrial wood from abroad and most of the species are unfamiliar to the user agencies nor to the common man, proper diagnostics of the timber species signifies the importance of xylarium.
KFRI xylarium was established in the year 1979, and has a collection of 587 specimens (133 samples representing 68 genera and 114 species from India/Kerala and the rest are from 13 foreign countries). The xylarium database has detailed records such as family name of the tree from which the wood was collected, species name, original wood specimen no., date of collection, collector(s) name, herbarium no. of the voucher specimen, country, altitude, latitude, longitude, habit, habitat, note on collection or accession etc. For each wood specimen, there will be a corresponding voucher herbarium specimen deposited in the KFRI Herbarium with the same accession number. Without this cross-reference, the wood collection is of no value. The dimension of the KFRI xylarium sample is: 10 x 6 x 1 cm for small specimens and 16 x 10 x 2 cm for large specimens following international standard. The Xylarium of KFRI has been indexed in Kew Royal Botanic Garden, in its Index Xylariorum- a directory of Institutional Wood Collections from around the World. With a view to improve our collection of wood samples, KFRI has few xylarium samples (Indian species) available for mutual exchange.
The scientists contributed to the collection and enrichment of xylarium in KFRI are: Drs. K.M. Bhat, Nazma, K.V. Bhat and N. Sasidharan.
Contact: Wood Science & Technology Division
Kerala Forest Research Institute
Peechi P.O, Thrissur District, Kerala - 680653, India.