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3000 species in 240 genera are found in tropical and subtropical regions. The fruit of Melastoma blackens the mouth.

[Summary yet to be added]


700 species are found in tropical America and the West Indies, one species in West Africa.

Miconia sp.

The wood yields primin, an allergen of Primula obconica (Marini-Bettolo et al. 1971).

Tococa sp.

Spruce (1908) studied many Tococa species along the Amazon and found only T. planifolia to lack inflated sacs on the leaves in which ants made their nest (myrmecodomatia). He described his experiences with these ants as "desperate struggles … with those pugnacious little creatures".


  • Marini-Bettolo et al. (1971) Gaz. Chim. Ital. 101: 41, cited by Hausen (1975), unpublished observations.
  • Menninger EA (1967) Fantastic Trees. New York: Viking Press [WorldCat] [url]
  • Spruce R (1908) Notes of the Botanist on the Amazon and Andes. London: Macmillan. Cited by Menninger (1967)

Richard J. Schmidt

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