Osbeckia saigonensis Kuntze
Melastoma saigonense is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 3 metres tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and food.
Southeast Asia - Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam.
On dry or swampy ground in open places, light forests, scrubs or grasslands; at elevations from sea level to 600 metres[
Fruit - raw. They need to be fully ripe, or else they can be astringent[
]. Eaten as a snack, they generally have a sweet flavour. The fruit is a fleshy capsule around 8 - 13mm long[
The roots, leaves, flowering tops or berries are astringent and are used in the treatment of conditions such as diarrhoea, leucorrhoea, and dysentery[
Externally, they can be used as a wash on cuts, wounds etc.
Melastoma species are rich in tannins of the hydrolysable type. Most of them are di- and trimers, with reported bactericidal and antiviral activities[
Seed - best sown fresh in a nursery seedbed, or in containers because of the small size of the seed. Germination is best in either full sun or in light shade[
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