Melastoma malabathricum

Melastoma malabathricum ( Malay : Senduduk ) is native to Indomalaya, Japan and Australia.

Melastoma consist of about 50-70 species distributed all around Old World. M. malabathricum is divided into 2 subspecies:
• M. malabathricum ssp malabathricum
• M. malabathricum ssp normale

On rare occasions, M. malabathricum consists of 3 varieties :
• petals with purple-magenta colour
• petals with light-magenta colour
• petals with white colour

M. malabathricum can grow on a wide range of soils : cleared land, waste late, roadside, plantation, etc ; ranging from sea-level up to an altitude of 3000 meters.

M. malabathricum is a hyperaccumulator of aluminium and as such can be used for phytoremediation.

It is an evergreen shrub, up to 2 m tall.

Grows well in most tropical habitat.

Propagation via seeds. Seeds dispersed by birds.

Stem with appressed scales.
Leaves ovate, hairy, 4-14cm length x 1.7-3.5cm width.
Flowers in clusters, produced at tip of shoots. Petals reddish purple.
Fruit is a berry-like capsule with numerous seeds coated with red, sweet astringent pulp.

Seeds dimorphic, with and without embryo.

Fertile seeds folded or spiral, triangular to D-shaped, 0.45-0.8m long x 0.35-0.5mm wide ; testa light yellow to dark cream coloured.

Infertile seeds appear similar to fertile seeds but smaller, 0.3-0.5mm long x 0.2-0.3mm wide ; appeared collapsed, dented, or wringkled ; testa black or reddish-black.

Fruits is edible, sandy-feel taste, and stain the mouth and teeth dark-blued. The fruits are also used to produce black dye.
The roots are used to produce pink dye.

Due to its growth habit, it is regarded as noxious weed in many places.
However, regardless of its nuisance to human, it provides abundant food to birds, and other small mammals. Its flowers attract butterflies, and its leaves host caterpillars.

Publicado el febrero 10, 2023 03:24 MAÑANA por ongzi ongzi


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Febrero 9, 2023 a las 04:51 TARDE +08


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