Melastomataceae

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Revision as of 18:44, 5 June 2008 by Afriberg (talk | contribs) (New page: {{Returntotable}} '''Description:''' A family of trees, shrubs, herbs, and occasionally lianas, with simple opposite leaves with a very characteristic venation pattern. The main veins (u...)

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Description: A family of trees, shrubs, herbs, and occasionally lianas, with simple opposite leaves with a very characteristic venation pattern. The main veins (usually 5-9) are palmate at the leaf base, and the secondary veins between them are scalariform (i.e., parallel and regularly spaced like a ladder). Many species have abundant trichomes, and several understory herbs in the family have ant domatia in their leaf bases. Some Melastomataceae (particularly Mouriri) can be confused with Rubiaceae (particularly Faramea), but Rubiaceae have conspicuous interpetiolar stipules (see the illustration for Rubiaceae, or p. 722 in Gentry 1993). Identifying melastomes to family is very easy, but genera and species can be extremely hard to identify. Most are defined by fruit and floral characters.

Economic uses: Occasionally grown as an ornamental. Their fruit is attractive to many bird species.


Descripción: Una familia de árboles, arbustos, hierbas, y a veces bejucos, con hojas simples y opuestas con un patrón de nervación muy llamativo. Las venas principales, usualmente 5-9, son palmadas en la base de la hoja, y las venas secundarias son escalariformes (es decir, paralelas y uniformes como los pasos de una escalera). Muchas especies tienen pelos abundantes, y algunas hierbas del sotobosque presentan formicarios en la base de la hoja. Algunas Melastomataceas (especialmente el genero Mouriri) se puede confundir con Rubiaceas (especialmente Faramea), pero las Rubiaceas tienen estípulas interpeciolares muy evidentes (ver el dibujo para Rubiaceas, o p. 722 en Gentry 1993). Es fácil identificar la familia Melastomataceae, pero puede ser difícil identificar los géneros y las especies. Muchas veces se necesitan flores y frutos.

Usos económicos: Algunos especies se cultivan para ornamentales. Tienen frutos que se alimentan muchas aves.


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