Melastomataceae (weeds)

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Miconia calvescens (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Forest & Kim Starr
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Melastomataceae (weeds) - (melastome family)

This family of flowering plants contains around 3,000 species of shrubs, small trees, vines and some herbs. They are common in the humid tropics, especially the Americas. Several species are invasive and have become important weeds like velvet tree, Miconia calvescens or Koster's curse Clidemia hirta.

The venation of the leaves is characteristic and consists of 3-9 curved main veins which run from the leaf base to the tip. The main veins are connected by cross veins resulting in a checkerboard pattern. A second feature of the family are the structure of the stamens. These are often claw-like with joints and appendages bearing the anthers.

The following genera and individual species are currently entered under this family: