Saturday, June 4, 2011

Melastoma malabathricum

The 'Malabar Rhododendron Melastoma malabathricum grows in the wild in India. It has attractive large pink flowers which last only a day. The name Melastoma came from the Latin meaning 'black mouth', because children who eat its fruit have their mouths stained black.
It is called Nekkarike in Kannada, and the leaves are used to cure dysentry and piles.
The plant is a host for the Sailor butterfly.
A very important quality of the plant is that it sequesters aluminium which contaminates the soil near aluminium mines.

1 comment:

  1. That's so interesting! Although I've posted pictures of the Melastoma, I have never really found out the details. My husband plucked the fruit and had them on the outskirts of Mawlynnong. I didn't even know that the fruit was edible.

    Padma, I posted more pictures of the orchids and a mating pair of leaf beetles. Hope you stop by and take a look.