Melastoma malabathricum ssp. malabathricum Melastomataceae

Blue Tongue

Melastrome affine

Form and Size: A small to medium shrub, 0.5-3m high

Distribution: Across northern Australia, and in N.S.W.; usually in moist soils as an understorey plant

Leaves: Opposite, oval, rough-textured, velvety, dark green, five prominent longitudinal veins, about 10cm long x 4cm wide
Flowers: Pink-mauve, 5-petalled, open, prominent yellow anthers, about 5cm diameter

Flowering Period: November to January and sporadic

Fruit: Berries, purple to red

Cultivation/Notes: Propagate from seed or cuttings. Needs rich, open soil and partial shade. The fruit are sweet and edible, but they stain the mouth and tongue blue-black.