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  Melastoma malabathricum L.
  Family Name : Melastomataceae

  Common Names : Common Sendudok, Singapore Rhododendron, Indian Rhododendron, Sesenduk, Malabar Gooseberry, Straits Rhododendron, Sendudok, Senduduk

  Chinese Name : 野牡丹

Common Sendudok,Singapore Rhododendron,Indian Rhododendron,Sesenduk,Malabar Gooseberry,Straits Rhododendron,Sendudok,Senduduk
  • Record Info
    • Featured in '1001 Garden Plants in Singapore' Book (2ed) :
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Tree (Shrubby (1m-5m)), Shrub (Woody)
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Plant Shape :
      Maximum Height :
      1 m to 5 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      Indian Ocean, China, Taiwan, south and Southeast Asia (including Singapore), Australia, and the south Pacific
      Native Habitat :
      Terrestrial (Mountain; Secondary Rainforest; Grassland / Savannah/ Scrubland; Disturbed Area / Open Ground)
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
      Local Conservation Status :
      Native to Singapore (Common)
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: It is a shrub or small tree up to 5 m tall. Its stems reddish, covered with small scales. 
      Its opposite, stalked leaves have leaf blades that are lance-shaped, 2–15 by 0.6–6.5 cm, and bear three prominent veins–one central and two marginal. Leaves are bristly on the underside.

      Its flowers are up to 8 cm wide, with petals that are light to dark magenta-pink, or occasionally white. The flowers last only a day.

      Fruits: Its 6–10 mm-wide fruits are somewhat round, and open irregularly when ripe to expose dark blue pulp with many orange seeds. The fruits are edible but rather tasteless, with the pulp staining the tongue blue-black. 
      [Others]: It is a pioneer species frequently found in wastelands and secondary forests. It can tolerate poor soils and is considered as weedy or invasive in some countries. 
      Habitat :
      It grows in open sites, in the lowlands and on mountains up to 3,000 m altitude.
      Associated Fauna :
      Fruits eaten by birds, squirrels and monkeys in the wild. Flowers attracts Pearly-banded bees, Dwarf Carpenter Bees, Large Carpenter Bees. Blue-banded Digger Bee, for pollens.
      Cultivation :
      It can be propagated by seed or stem cutting.
      Etymology :
      Genus name ‘Melastoma’ means ‘black mouth’ in Greek, a reference to the dark-coloured pulp.
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits; Edible Leaves; Edible Seeds)
      Food (Fruit & Vegetable: Young leaves eaten raw or cooked, taste sour. Pulp around seeds also eaten in Indonesia.)
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits; Edible Leaves; Edible Seeds), Medicinal (The bark is utilised for treating dysentery and toothache. A decoction of the leaves is used to treat diarrhoea, dysentery, indigestion, leucorrhoea, stomach-ache, piles, thrush, and weeping sores from insect stings. The leaves can be applied to cuts, painful arthritic joints, swellings and wounds too. The leaves are also made into a wash for ulcers and to prevent scarring from smallpox. The powdered leaves and roots may be applied on haemorrhoids and wounds. The roots may be used as a mouth wash for toothache.)
      [Others]: Leaves fed to silkworms in certain areas. Seeds used to produce a black dye, while the roots a pink dye.
  • Landscaping Features
    • Landscaping :
      It is grown as an ornamental plant for its attractive pink or white flowers, in borders or hedges.
      Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Flowers
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site), Easy to Grow, [Remarks] (Moist soil.)
      Landscape Uses :
      General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Riverine, Flowerbed / Border
      Thematic Landscaping :
      Naturalistic Garden, Wildflower Garden, Butterfly Garden, Bird & Wildlife Garden
      Usage Hazards / Cons :
      Invasive / Potentially Invasive, [Remarks] (Considered weedy. May form thick thickets.)
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Associated Fauna :
      Bird-Attracting (Fruits), Butterfly Food Plant (Flower Nectar), Caterpillar Food Plant (Leaves; Associated with: Tanaecia iapis, Rapala iarbus), Bee-Attracting
      Pollination Method(s) :
      Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Butterfly, Moth); Insects (Bee))
      Seed / Spore Dispersal :
      Biotic (Fauna) (Vertebrates (Other Mammal))
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun, Semi-Shade
      Water Preference :
      Lots of Water, Moderate Water
      Propagation Method :
      Seed, Stem Cutting
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Hairy / Hirsute, Rough, Raised / Sunken Veins
      Foliar Type :
      Simple / Unifoliate
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Foliar Attachment to Stem :
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage (Lanceolate)
      Foliar Venation :
      Pinnate / Net, Parallel
      Foliar Margin :
      Leaf Area Index (LAI) * for Green Plot Ratio :
      4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Bisexual Flowers
      Flower Colour(s) :
      Pink, Purple
      Flower Grouping :
      Cluster / Inflorescence
      Flower Location :
      Flower Symmetry :
      Flowering Period :
      Flower Lifespan On Plant :
      1 Day
      Flowering Habit :
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Mature Fruit Colour(s) [Angiosperms & Gymnosperms] :
      Fruit Classification :
      Simple Fruit
      Fruit Type :
      Fleshy Fruit (Non-Accessory Fruit: Berry)
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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