Tuesday, October 11, 2011

ABC Wednesday-M for Melastoma

Melastoma malabathricum is the Scientific name, also called Senduduk, Straits Rhododendron is common name, Chinese name: 野牡丹

This is one kind of common plant in Singapore, growing wild in the nature reserves, on wasteland,   roadside and other open wild places, including coastal areas. It has two varieties purple and white flower, Purple flowers plant is the most common variety. 
You can see from the picture left and below, the flowers are purplish-pink, some are  dark purple, about 5-7cm,  showy, 3-7 flowers growing at the end of a branch, opens only for one day, open at about 7 plus in the morning and close in the  afternoon around 5pm, the petals falling off a few days later.

...Its flowers attract butterflies, and its leaves host caterpillars.
 ...a close up photo of the white flower, picture was taken in Macritchie reservoir park. The white flower is even more useful, it has been used by many traditional medicine practitioners as a cure in spiritually challenge environment.

...stems reddish and covered with bristly scales. The petals emerge from a cup-shaped calyx which remains after the flowers drop off. I was told that the leaves would stop any bleeding and accelerate the healing process. Of course there are many more others medical use of this wild plant.
The fruits are berry-like in very dark red color, almost black....The seeds stain the place where it is.
It provides abundant food to birds, and other small mammals like squirrels and monkeys. I believe it is sweet.

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

not at all familiar with this
ROG, ABC Wednesday team