Melastomataceae

The family Melastomataceae (alternatively Melastomaceae) is a taxon of dicotyledonous flowering plants found mostly in the tropics (two thirds of the genera are from the New World tropics) comprising c. 165 genera and c. 5115 known species.[2] Melastomes are annual or perennial herbs, shrubs, or small trees.

Melastomataceae
Tibouchina semidecandra at Strybing Arboretum, San Francisco
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Melastomataceae
Juss.[1]
Type genus
Melastoma
Genera

See text.

Description

The leaves of melastomes are somewhat distinctive, being opposite, decussate, and usually with 3-7 longitudinal veins arising either from the base of the blade, plinerved (inner veins diverging above base of blade), or pinnately nerved with three or more pairs of primary veins diverging from the mid-vein at successive points above the base.

Flowers are perfect, and borne either singly or in terminal or axillary, paniculate cymes.

Ecology

A number of melastomes are regarded as invasive species once naturalized in tropical and subtropical environments outside their normal range. Examples are Koster's curse (Clidemia hirta), Tibouchina semidecandra and Miconia calvescens, but many other species are involved.

Taxonomy

Under the APG III system of classification, the seven genera from Memecylaceae are now included in this family.[1]

Genera

Foraging

Melastomataceae is foraged by many stingless bees, especially by the species Melipona bicolor which gather pollen from this taxon of flowering plant.[3]

References

  1. Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009), "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III", Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 161 (2): 105–121, doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x, archived from the original on 2017-05-25, retrieved 2010-12-10
  2. Christenhusz, M. J. M.; Byng, J. W. (2016). "The number of known plants species in the world and its annual increase". Phytotaxa. Magnolia Press. 261 (3): 201–217. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.261.3.1.
  3. Hilário, S. D., and V. L. Imperatriz-Fonseca. "Pollen foraging in colonies of Melipona bicolor (Apidae, Meliponini): effects of season, colony size and queen number." Genetics and Molecular Research 8.2 (2009): 664-671.
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