Family: Melastomataceae

Although there are about 150 species in this genus of tropical plants, few are in general cultivation. They occur in the tropics from Africa, through the Philippines and Borneo, to the Pacific regions. Most are shrubs, but there are also some scrambling climbers in the group.


M. magnifica is the only species commonly in cultivation. It bears long sprays of beautiful pink to coral flowers over many months. The flower spray is topped with several, pink bracts. An evergreen shrub growing to about 2 m (6 ft) high, it has glossy, dark green leaves that may be up to 30 cm (12 in) long. The rather angular stems are ribbed or winged.


Outside the tropics, grow as pot plants in a warm greenhouse or conservatory. Use soil-based potting compost. The plants need bright light, but shade from direct sun. A very humid atmosphere is essential. Water normally in the growing season but ease up considerably in winter. Propagate from semi-ripe cuttings in summer, rooting them in a heated propagating case. An easier method is to air layer plants in summer.


Strictly for tropical regions, these plants prefer more than 20° C (68°F), even at night and in winter.

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Climate zone map
Meconopsis      Medlar