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Results tagged “melastomataceae”

Jun 17, 2013: Melastoma malabathricum subsp. malabathricum

Apologies for the lack of entries -- it's all on me and my (lack of) time, as I now have a good-sized backlog of entries from Taisha. She's written today's entry:

Today's images (original 1 | original 2) of Melastoma malabathricum subsp. malabrathricum, commonly known as blue tongue or Malabar melastome or native lasiandra, were taken on April 17, 2011 by long-time BPotD contributor Andreas Lambrianides. Thank you for all of your wonderful photos and for today's pictures!

Melastoma malabathricum subsp. malabrathricum of the Melastomataceae is native to tropical Asia, Taiwan, parts of Australia, Mauritius and Seychelles. In Australia, typical habitats include roadsides, disturbed rain forest areas and other wet forests. The Flora of China's account seems to take a broader view of the species (Melastoma malabathricum), so the habitat includes more environments and the species distribution is wider.

The 3m tall stem of this shrub and its branches are covered in appressed scales. As shown in the photographs, the elliptical or ovate leaves are hairy and have a midrib with 2 to 3 longitudinal veins on either side. The terminal clusters of 3-7 flowers are purple-reddish in color with two leaf-like bracts at the base. The fruit is a densely hair-covered fleshy capsule. It dehisces to reveal a dark pulp with small orange seeds that are dispersed by birds.

According to Malay, Indian and Indonesian folk medicine, different parts of Melastoma malabrathicum are thought to have medicinal value for the treatment of a variety of ailments. There are also several prospective pharmacological uses, but in-depth scientific studies first must be completed to verify their potential (see: Joffry, SM., et al. 2011. Melastoma malabrathicum (L.) Smith ethnomedicinal uses, chemical constituents, and pharmacological properties: A review. Evid. Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012: 258434. doi:10.1155/2012/258434).

Jan 19, 2012: Tibouchina heteromalla

Tibouchina heteromalla

Another thank you to to Priscilla Burcher (aka PriscillaBurcher@Flickr) for sharing an image with Botany Photo of the Day (original image | submitted via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool). Much appreciated!

The shrubby Tibouchina heteromalla is endemic to Brazil, where it occurs in isolated or small scattered populations associated with rocky areas. Known commonly as silverleafed princess flower or glory bush, Tibouchina heteromalla is a popular ornamental plant. More on the species, including its pollination biology, can be discovered via Campos, C et al.. 2009. Floral biology and breeding mechanisms of Tibouchina heteromalla Cogn. in rocky outcrops in the South of Minas Gerais (PDF). Brazilian Journal of Ecology. Volume 8(?). The paper also makes note that the species is used in the recovery and reforestation of degraded areas.

Tibouchina is a member of the Melastomataceae, or the melastome family. This family consists of 188 recognized genera and just over 5000 recognized species, making it the eight largest vascular plant family currently. Most of the diversity of the family occurs in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, and most of that in the neotropics. Visit Melastomataceae of the World and click on the images link in order to explore some of the diversity of the family.

Plants and art resource link: time-lapse video of some plants from Buenos Aires and area: La lenta belleza de las plantas (link removed due to the video seemingly making use of copyrighted material from elsewhere), from user poseidon1257@vimeo (discovered via a Facebook friend, Elizabeth B.).

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