Melastoma decemfidum Roxb.
Melastoma dendrisetosum C.Chen
Melastoma sanguineum is an evergreen shrub or small tree usually growing 1.5 - 5 metres tall, but sometimes up to 10 metres[
The plant is commonly harvested from the wild for local medicinal use, being valued especially as an astringent. It is possibly also used as a food.
E. Asia - southern China, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines.
Disturbed forests, along streams and roads, in open places and savannahs; at elevations of up to 2,300 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
The plant is often grown as an ornamental - in Hawaii it has proved to be an invasive shrub that can spread rapidly and may form dense monotypic thickets in a variety of habitats such as: open land, grassland, shrubland and native forest[
We have no specific information for this species, but the fruits of many species in the genus are eaten as a snack[
]. They generally have a sweet flavour, but can be quite astringent, especially if not fully ripe[
]. The fruit is a fleshy capsules around 8 - 19mm in diameter with a solid, yellow pulp and minute orange seeds[
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.
The roots are considered a stimulant and tonic[
]. They are used to treat vertigo and general malaise[
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[
]. In trials, the seed germinated within 25 - 50 days[
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