A tree of aini
Other names: Wild jack, Anjili, Aiyni chakka
Aini is an endemic tree species of evergreen forests of Western Ghats of India. It is widely cultivated in plain areas. This species forms one of the major components of home gardens of Kerala. The tree occurs frequently along Malabar Coast.
Aini is primarily a timber tree and planted for its wood. Fruit can be considered a bye product.
Female inflorescence of aini
A tall evergreen tree with orthotropic branching pattern; crown round to oval in shape, bark rough and dark grey.
Leaves, simple and alternate; petioles of the leaf have tawny hirsute; in young plants, lobed leaves are seen thus the tree shows heterophylly.
Aini male inflorescence
A monoecious plant bearing both male and female inflorescence on same tree; male and female inflorescences are solitary, borne on axillary leafy twigs; Male inflorescence i.e. spike cylindrical in shape while female inflorescence is ovoid.
Fruit a sorosis; yellow and ovoid covered with spines; green when unripe and turning orange yellow on ripening.
A fruit of aini
Seeds ovoid, white.
Mature ripened fruits are sweet and edible. Seeds are roasted and eaten as a snack by the local people. Apart from this, seeds are also reported to have medicinal value.
Edible pulp of aini fruits
fruits rank almost at par with those of jackfruit with regard to biochemical as
well as mineral composition of the fruit pulp,
Aini trees requires heavy rainfall and thrive well in any soil. These grow well in open space. Seeds are viable for a short period. They can be either sown directly in the raised beds or in polybags. It can also be propagated through stump planting.