Macaranga peltata is a plant found in northern Thailand, Sri Lanka and India. It is one of the most widely occurring early successional woody species in Sri Lanka, specially in low country wet zone. Some of the many common names include kenda - කැන්ද or kanda in Sri Lanka and chandada in India.
It is a resinous tree, up to 10 metres (33 ft) tall. Young parts are velvet hairy. Leaves measure 20 to 50 centimetres (7.9 to 19.7 in) by 12 to 21 centimetres (4.7 to 8.3 in), are alternately arranged, circular or broadly ovate, entire or minutely dentate, and palmately 9-nerved. The leaf stalk is attached on the lower surface of the leaf, not on the base.
Yellow-green flowers occur in long panicles in leaf axils in the months of January to February. Male flowers are minute, numerous, and clustered in the axils of large bracts. One round, black seed is in a spherical capsule 4 to 5 mm across.
Mallotus tetracoccus is a pioneer or early-successional or early-secondary tree species more common in forest edges, clearings, and secondary forests than in mature forest interiors. Ecophysiological studies indicate that Macaranga peltata shows a combination of high quantum use efficiency of photosynthetic system (Fv/Fm) and relative growth rates under higher light conditions, similar in pattern to other pioneer species such as Mallotus tetracoccus.
Today the major use of Macranga Peltata (Vatta) is for making Wooden Pencils and Plywood Industry. The District of Quilon (Kollam)in State of Kerala produce nearly 75 to 100 Truck Loads of Pencil Slats. Though this wood is not as good as Cedar, Geluthong, Linden for making Pencils, Indian Pencil Industry survive on this wood.
- K. K. I. U. Aruna Kumara, U. Wickramasinghe, G. A. Dayathilaka, R. Senarathne. "Forestry and Environment Symposium 2000, Sri Lanka: Studies on Dormancy and Germination Dynamics of Macranga Peetata [sic] (Kanda) An Early Successional Species". Retrieved 2009-12-30.
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- Sreejith, K. A. 2005. Ecological and Ecophysiological studies on the successional status of tree seedlings in tropical wet evergreen and semi-evergreen forests of Kerala. PhD Thesis, Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun. 148 pages.
- Manjula Hettiarachchi; David C. Hilmers; Chandrani Liyanage; Steven A. Abrams. "Na2EDTA Enhances the Absorption of Iron and Zinc from Fortified Rice Flour in Sri Lankan Children". Nuclear Medicine Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, Galle, Sri Lanka and U.S. Department of Agriculture/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
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