Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Miconia racemosa
(Aubl.) DC., Melastomataceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

Spanish: camasey de felpa, camasey racimoso, terciopelo

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "An evergreen shrub or small tree 2 or 3 m in height and 3 to 5 cm in stem diameter. The stems are smooth and gray with an inner bark of light gray. The plants are supported by an ample lateral root system. Multiple stems arising from the root crown and lower trunk are common. The wood is light brown and hard. Twigs are light green and somewhat four-angled and have a ring of hairs at the nodes. The opposite elliptic leaves have petioles 8 to 45 mm long, five main veins from the base, a saw-toothed, hairy edge, and are pointed at both ends. The inflorescences are panicles with many tiny white, pink, or purple flowers. The fruits are berries, 3 to 5 mm in diameter, whitish when immature, dark blue, purple, or black at maturity, and contain numerous tiny brown seeds (Howard 1989, Liogier 1995, Little and others 1974.)"  (Francis, 2009).

"A scrambling shrub that may reach a height of about 3 m.  Miconia racemosa leaves can grow up to 20 cm long and each leaf has five distinct veins that all begin and end at the same points at the base and tip. The smaller, transverse veins make a deep ‘quilted’ pattern on the leaf surface. Leaves form in opposite pairs" (Queensland Government, 2007).

Habitat/ecology:  "Camasey de felpa inhabits areas that receive 1600 to 3000 mm of annual precipitation. Common habitat is on moderately well drained, somewhat poorly, and poorly drained, clayey, weathered soils, particularly ultisols. Areas of both sedimentary and igneous rocks are colonized at elevations from near sea level to 900 m in elevation. The species is shade intolerant, requiring partial sunlight to flower and fruit. Disturbance favors reproduction, but this requirement does not appear to be absolute. Seedlings are frequently found under plantations in mid-rotation or trees that have colonized old fields. Camasey de felpa may be found in old fields, tree plantations, secondary forests, roadsides, and landslides (author's observation, Little and others 1974)"  (Francis, 2009).

Apparently introduced into Australia and as a garden plant. Declared a Class 1 weed there and subject of an eradication program.

Propagation:  "Small black-purple or brown fruit that are dispersed primarily by birds. Seeds may also be spread via mud sticking to vehicles, machinery, footwear and animals"  (Queensland Government, 2007).

Native range:  "Native to Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Dominica, St. Lucia, Granada, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, the Guianas, and Brazil to the Atlantic forest in the South (Centro Nordestino de Informaçõas Sobre Plantas 2002, Fundaçao Andre Tosello 2002, Howard 1989, Liogier 1995, Little and others 1974)"  (Francis, 2009).


Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
Queensland [Australia] Government (2007)
Subject of an eradication program.

Control:  Physical:  "The most effective control of small miconia plants is by pulling them out by the roots, placing them off the ground and lodging them in nearby trees to dry out" (Queensland Government, 2007).

Chemical:  See Miconia calvescens for chemical methods that may also be effective against this species.

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This page was created on 30 AUG 2009 and was last updated on 8 MAY 2017.