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Melastoma malabathricum L.

 

Melastoma malabathricum L.

Family

Melastomataceae

Synonyms

Melastoma affine D. Don, Melastoma denticulatum Labill., Melastoma polyanthum Blume.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Singapore rhododendron, senduduk (Peninsular, Sabah).
Brunei Kuduk kuduk, kemungting uman (Iban).
Indonesia Harendong (Sundanese), senggani, kemanden (Javanese).
Thailand Khlongkhleng khee nok (South-eastern), mang khre (Peninsular), chuk naaree  (Bangkok).
Philippines Malatungau (Ibanag), bubtoi (Sambali), yagomyum (Cebu Bisaya).
Vietnam Mua da hung, mua se.

Geographical Distributions

Melastoma malabathricum is distributed from the Indian Ocean Islands throughout South and Southeast Asia, China, Taiwan, Australia and South Pacific Ocean.

Description

M. malabathricum is a shrub or small tree measuring up to 5 m tall with young quadrangular branches, covered with appressed, spreading or erect scales and/or bristles. Its bark is brown, old branches are cylindrical, and almost smooth.

The leaves are narrow oval to lance-shaped, measure (4-)6-15 cm x (0.6-)2-6.5 cm with base is rounded to acute and apex is acuminate. The leaves have short stiff hairs lying close along the surface to hairy with rather long soft hairs.

The cyme is terminal, 3-12-flower, flowers normally 5-merous and a cup-like or bell-shape covered with long golden to red scales. The sepals are lance-shaped and the emergences intersepalar are present. The petals are reversed egg-shaped, with a size of 15-35 mm x 10-22 mm and in violet colour but seldom white. The stamens are dimorphic (seldom uniform) with the anther of the longer outer stamens are violet and prolonged connective with 6-12 mm long filaments. The ovary is shorter than a cup-like, which crowned by bristles. The capsule is fleshy, measure 7-11 mm x 6-10 mm, and it opens transversely irregularly at maturity where it exposes the soft dark blue pulp with orange seeds.

Ecology / Cultivation

M. malabathricum is found in disturbed locations, on fallow land, or in grasslands from sea-level up to 3000 m altitude. It can germinate and grow in fields of Imperata cylindrical (L) Raeuschel and finally smoother this grass.

Line Drawing / Photograph

Melastoma_malabathricum

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References

  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2.