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Family: Melastomataceae

Kingdom: Plantae Rank: Family Parent: Myrtales Status: Valid

Common Names:

  • MELASTOME - English, United States of America
  • MEADOW-BEAUTY FAMILY - English, United States of America

Morphological Description

Family Recognition in the Field: Herbs with opposite, simple, palmately veined leaves with the main veins parallel; stems often 4-angled; petals 4, whitish rose to rose to purple; filaments geniculate (= elbow-shaped); anthers opening by apical pores, with sterile appendages.


Notes: A large (4,950 species in 188 genera), mainly tropical and warm area family with many species in South America; most are shrubs or herbs, less often trees or lianas. Some yield timber or dyes or are used as cultivated ornamentals. Family name from Melastoma, a genus of ca. 70 species native from Indomalesia to the Pacific. (Greek: melas, black, and stoma, mouth, in reference to the mouth being stained black by the fruits of some species) (subclass Rosidae).