Malabar Melastome
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Malabar Melastome
ative elliptic Photo: Aarti Khale
Common name: Malabar Melastome, Indian-rhododendron • Assamese: ফুটকলা phutkala, ফুটুকা phutuka • Bengali: ফুটুকী phutuki • Garo: bol khakhu, khakhuchi • Kannada: ಅಂಕರ್ಕೆ Ankarke, ದೊಡ್ಡನೆಕ್ಕರೆ Dodda nekkare, ದೊಡ್ಡನೆಕ್ಕರಿಕೆ Dodda nekkarike, ನೆಕ್ಕರೆ, ನೆಕ್ಕಾರೆ Nekkare, ಕೆಂಕರಿಕೆ Kenkarike • Konkani: नाकेरी nakeri • Lepcha: tungbram • Malayalam: അതിരാണി athirani, കദളി kadali, തോട്ടുകാര tottukara • Manipuri: ꯅꯨꯔꯥꯥꯈꯨꯗꯣꯡꯂꯩ nura khudonglei • Marathi: लाकेरी lakeri, पालोरे palore, रिंधा rindha • Mizo: bui-lu-kham • Nepali: आङ्गेरी angeri, चुलेसी chulesi • Odia: builukham, ଗଙ୍ଗେଇ gongoi, koroti • Rongmei: বোবূচুন্মৈ bobuchunmei • Sanskrit: तिनीशः tinisah • Tamil: கடலை katalai • Telugu: నెక్కరి nekkare, నెక్కరిసెల్య nekkaresaelya, పాతుడు pathudu • Tulu: ನೆಕ್ಕರೆ nekkare Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Melastoma malabathricum    Family: Melastomataceae (Melastome family)

Malabar Melastome is an evergreen shrub, up to 2 m tall. In Southeast Asia and elsewhere it is a widespread weed of industrial forest plantation crops (such as rubber and mahogany), orchards, and rice fields. Melastoma malabathricum is the most widespread and morphologically most variable species of the genus, resulting in the descrïption of many separate species. Leaves elliptic to lanceolate, 6-15 x 2-6.5 cm, occasionally narrowly lanceolate to oblong, 4-6 x 0.6-1.5 cm, base rounded to acute, tip pointed. Its flowers vary from light to dark pink and have 5 petals. The flowers are arranged in around 1-5 flowered clusters. Like all Melastomes it has dissimilar stamens, numbering twice the number of petals. The flower shows 5 purple, curved anthers, and 5 yellow anthers. Fruit a berry-like capsule with numerous seeds coated with red, sweet astringent pulp.

Identification credit: Dinesh Valke Photographed in Maharashtra.

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