Medinilla magnifica

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Medinilla magnifica
Medinilla magnifica flor.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Melastomataceae
Genus: Medinilla
Species:
M. magnifica
Binomial name
Medinilla magnifica

Medinilla magnifica, the showy medinilla[1] or rose grape[2] is a species of flowering plant in the family Melastomataceae, native to the Philippines. This plant is also commonly known as the Philippine orchid,[citation needed] and it is an epiphyte. Various species and hybrids in this family are well known and popular with plant collectors with Medinilla speciosa being found almost identical.

The plant grows up to 3 m tall, with opposite, firm, leathery leaves, which grow to 20–30 cm long in an ovate shape with a short point. The flowers grow in panicles up to 50 cm long, with ovid pink bracts. The individual flowers are up to 25 mm in size, and are pink, red or violet. The fruits are violet, fleshy berries, about 1 cm wide.

In the Philippines M. magnifica grows in the forks of large trees. It is an epiphyte, which is a plant that grows on other trees but does not withdraw its food from those trees as parasites do. In the tropics, it is grown as a perennial. It is also a common house plant in cooler climes. King Boudewijn of Belgium was a big devotee of Medinilla. He grew them in the royal conservatories and they were depicted on the bank note of 10,000 Belgian francs.[3]

In temperate zones this plant must be grown under protection all year round, as it does not tolerate temperatures below 15 °C (59 °F). It requires high humidity levels, and bright sunlight with shade at the hottest time of the day. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.[2][4]

Etymology[edit]

Medinilla is named for José de Medinilla y Pineda, who was governor of Mauritius (then known as the Marianne Islands) in 1820.[5]

Magnifica means 'magnificent', 'great', 'eminent', or 'distinguished'.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Medinilla magnifica". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b "RHS Plantfinder - Medinilla magnifica". Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  3. ^ http://www.medinilla.ca/
  4. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 64. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  5. ^ a b Gledhill, David (2008). "The Names of Plants". Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521866453 (hardback), ISBN 9780521685535 (paperback). pp 248, 253