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Miconia calvescens, Miconia, Velvet Tree

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Miconia calvescens
Family: Melastomataceae
Miconia, Velvet Tree
Origin: Tropical America
Big tree > 20 ftSmall tree 10-20 ftFull sunSemi-shadeRegular waterPink flowersOrnamental foliageAttracts butterflies, hummingbirdsInvasive

The tree can grow to a height of 15 meters and has very large leaves, each up to a meter in length. A purple leaf underside is the most easily recognizable feature, along with a velvety or shiny dark green color and three bold leaf veins. The hundreds of small, pink fruits each contain 150 seeds, and are attractive to fruit-eating birds, which spread the seeds great distances. Once it dispersed into the wet tropical forests it took hold vigorously, invaded any spot in the understory that received patches of sunlight, and became a noxious weed.

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