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Miconia calvescens, Miconia, Velvet Tree

Miconia calvescens

Miconia, Velvet Tree
Family: Melastomataceae
Origin: Tropical America
Big tree taller than 20 ftSmall tree 10-20 ftSemi-shadeFull sunRegular waterOrnamental foliagePink flowersInvasive plantPlant attracts butterflies, hummingbirds

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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