Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Melastoma candidum
D. Don, Melastomataceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 13 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Melastoma septemnervium Lour.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: Asian melastome, Indian rhododendron, Malabar melastome

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Erect shrubs or small trees 1.5-5 m tall, branches and petioles densely covered with a mixture of short, appressed, laciniate scales 0.5-1 mm long and longer lanceolate scale 1.5-5 mm long.  Leaves elliptic to elliptic-ovate, 4-11 cm long, 1.3-4 cm wide, 5 (-7)-nerved, upper surface strigose to scabrous, lower surface sericeous but with a mixture of scales on the nerves like those of young branches, margins entire, apex acute, base obtuse to rounded, petioles 5-12 mm long.  Inflorescences 2-7-flowered, pedicels 10-12 mm long in fruit, bracts and bracteoles elliptic, lanceolate, or ovate, 1-2.2 cm long, 0.5-1.3 cm wide, early deciduous; hypanthium densely covered with imbricate, lanceolate, ciliolate scales; calyx 5-lobed, triangular-lanceolate, 0.7-2 cm long; petals usually 5, pink, 2.5-3.2 cm long, 1.5-2.3 cm wide; anthers of larger stamens 10-11 mm long; anthers of smaller stamens 8.5-10 mm long"  (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 910-911).

Habitat/ecology:  "This noxious, spreading shrub forms tangled brush up to 2 m tall which crowds out all other species"  Grows from sea level to 700 m in Hawai‘i. (Smith, 1985; p. 194).  Favors mesic to wet areas and bog margins. In Hawai‘i, "cultivated and now naturalized in mesic to wet areas and bog margins" (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 910-911); "forms dense stands in wetter pastures and forests, shading out understory"  (Motooka et al., 2003).

Propagation:  Berry-like fruit dispersed by frugivorous birds (Smith, 1985; p. 194).

Native range:  Vietnam, southern China, Philippine Islands, Taiwan, Ryukyu Islands, and southern Japan (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 910-911).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 910-911)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 910-911)
Voucher cited: Bryan 626 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Conant, Patrick (1996) (p. 2)
Voucher cited: Heu s.n. (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Conant, Patrick (1998) (pp. 1-2)
Voucher cited: R. Fenstermacher s.n. (BISH)
Japan (offshore islands)
Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands native
Kato, Hidetoshi (2007)
Also var. alessandrense S. Kobay.
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 910-911)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (pp. 185-186)
In forests, altitude 600 to 1,200 m.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 166)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) native
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 910-911)
Japan
Ryukyu Islands
Ryukyu Islands native
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 910-911)
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) native
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 910-911)

Comments:  Closely related to or synonymous with Melastoma malabathricum L. (Indian rhododendron) which is native to the Marianas and Caroline Islands (var. mariannum per Fosberg et al. (1979; p. 194), present on Pagan, Alamagan, Saipan, Guam, Palau (Babeldaob, Koror, Ngarakabesang, Malakal, and Aulupse‘el), Yap, Pohnpei, and Kosrae).

Control: 

Chemical: "Sensitive to hormone type herbicides 2,4-D, dicamba and triclopyr at 1 lb/acre, and to metsulfuron at 0.45 oz/acre. Sensitive to basal bark and stump bark applications of 2,4-D and triclopyr at 4% product in diesel."  (Motooka et al., 2003).


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 20 MAY 2013.