Family: Melastomataceae
Appearance: Trees and shrubs with velvet-like leaves. Dark green leaves sometimes with pale veins, undersurface of leaf is purplish. Distinctive veins seen on leaves.
Features: Often gown as an indoor plant. Berries are edible.

Flowers: White, rose, purple or yellow flowers.

Requirements: Rich moist, well drained soil. Shaded, well protected site.

Culture: Propagate by cuttings. WARNING: These plants have become serious weeds in some places. It may even be illegal to grow in various states or countries.

Pest & Disease: Mealy bug, leaf eaters and scale. Chinese rose beetles have caused severe defoliation in Hawaii and Tahiti.

Species & Varieties:

About 1000 species, including:

M. calvescens (M. magnifica, Cyanophyllum magnifica) (Velvet Tree) -A shrub or small tree 1 to 5m tall, with stiff, upright stems, with broad oval leaves to 60cm long, wavy margined, upper surface velvety green, with white or light green veins, a bronze like colour below. Flowers are inconspicuous.

M. flammea -To 0.7m tall, green leaves.

M. hookeriana -Shrub to 0.7m tall, green leaves with white markings.

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