Online Manual for the Forest Tree Seeds of Kerala

A Kerala Forest Department Funded Project

Dr. K Sudhakara
Professor & Head of the Department
Dept. of Silviculture & Agroforestry
College of Forestry, Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur 680 656
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Scientific Name  Macaranga peltata (Roxb.) Muell.-Arg.
Vernacular name  Vatta, Uppila, Thodukanni(Malayalam) (Chacko et al.,2002 and Sasidharan, 2004); Vattakanni, Vatta (Tamil); Upaligi, (Kannada) (Chacko et al., 2002)
Common name 
Synonyms  Macaranga roxburghii Wt.; Osyris peltata Roxb., M.tomentosa Wight (Chacko et al., 2002; Sasidharan, 2004)
Family  Euphorbiaceae
Distribution  Widely distributed in India also occurs in Sri Lanka and Andamans. In Kerala it occurs in the secondary, moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests up to 900 m (Chacko et al., 2002). In India the tree is found in West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and the Western Ghats, mostly in the hills, and in Sri Lanka (Bose et al., 1998)
Description  A medium-sized tree; branchlets stout; youngest shoots stellate-tomentose (Bose et al., 1998). Fast growing, small to moderate sized evergreen tree attaining a height of 18 m and a breast height of diameter 25.5 cm (Chacko et al., 2002)
Flowering season  Summer months
Fruiting season  February to April (Chacko et al.,2002)
Flowers  Panicles rusty-tomentose; bracts tomentose, large, dentate, veined; bracteoles concave; male flowers: in clusters enveloped in bracts and bracteoles; sepals 3; stamens 2-3; female flowers: ovary 1-celled (Bose et al., 1998). Flowers are unisexual, dioecious, inflorescence axillary panicles with straight branches, bracts broadly ovate, dentate without apical glands, male flowers in clusters per bract and female flowers few per bract (De Candolle, 1866; Sasidharan, 1993).
Fruits  Capsules 6-7 mm in diameter, covered with hairs and glands (Bose et al., 1998). Capsule echinate when young
Fruit type  Capsule
Seeds  Capsule, 5 to 6 mm across, globose and glandular contains one globose black coloured seed (Chacko et al.,2002)
Seed length  0.4 cm (Chacko et al.,2002)
Seed width  0.49 cm (Chacko et al., 2002)
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  21,168 seeds/kg (Chacko et al.,2002)
Seed dispersal 
Seed Collection  Ripe capsules are collected from the tree by lopping off the branches (Chacko et al., 2002)
Transportation of seeds  Capsules collected in cotton bags are transported to the processing centre as quickly as possible (Chacko et al.,2002)
Seed processing  Capsules are de-pulped and sun-dried (Chacko et al.,2002)
Seed storage  Probably intermediate. Seeds can be stored for about 6 months in sealed polythene bags under cold conditions (Chacko et al.,2002)
Viability period  Seeds retain viability for about 2 months (Chacko et al.,2002)
Seed emptiness  No information (Chacko et al.,2002)
Seed pre treatment  Sulphuric acid treatment (Chacko et al., 2002)
Germination type  Epigeal (Chacko et al.,2002)
Germination percentage  Up to 60 (Chacko et al.,2002)
Germination period  10 to 40 days (Chacko et al.,2002)
Nursery technique  Pretreated seeds are sown in vermiculite taken in germination trays and watered regularly. The seedlings are potted in polythene bags of size 22.5 into 17.5 cm and maintained under shade (Chacko et al., 2002)
Method of propagation  Macaranga peltata has good coppicing power (Gopikumar et al., 2002). By seeds.
Vegetative propagation 
Pests  Nil (Chacko et al.,2002)
Diseases  Low (18.7 %). Seven fungi are recorded. Fusarium moniliforme, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Phomopsis sp. were the important seed pathogens (Mohanan and Anil Chandran, 2001; Chacko et al., 2002).
Medicinal properties  A paste of kino is used as an application for venereal sores. Leaves and bark boiled in water and used to cure ulcers. The oil content is less than 10% (Mannan et al., 1986)
Uses  Leaves used as a green manure. The red gum can be used for taking impressions of leaves, coins etc. The wood is used for making match boxes and pencils. It is also used as shade tree in coffee plantations (Chacko et al.,2002).
Wood properties  Wood reddish brown and soft ( Gamble, 1922)
References  Get ...
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