Melochia umbellata

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Melochia umbellata
Starr 011205-0002 Melochia umbellata.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Melochia
Species: M. umbellata
Binomial name
Melochia umbellata
(Houtt.) Stapf
  • Visenia indica C.C.Gimelin
  • Visenia umbellata Houtt.
  • Melochia indica (Gmel.) Kurz.[1]

Melochia umbellata is a species of flowering plant in the mallow family, Malvaceae. Its specific epithet comes from the Latin umbellatus (umbel-like), referring to the inflorescence.[2]



Melochia umbellata is a shrub or small tree, growing to 2–15 m in height. It grows rapidly and is able to colonise disturbed land.[3] It has large, broadly ovate, leaves 90–300 mm long. The flowers are usually pale pink to red. The seeds are winged and wind-dispersed.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The plant is native to a region extending from India eastwards through Southeast Asia to north-western Australia and New Guinea. It occurs in secondary vegetation and forest clearings, on rocky slopes and along the edges of rivers and forests, often in seasonally dry soil.[2]

It has been introduced elsewhere and is cultivated widely to provide shade for young trees in timber and coffee plantations. Melochia is relished by ruminants when offered as a cut-and-carry feed.[4] It has become an invasive weed on the Island of Hawaiʻi where it was extensively planted in the Hilo area during a 1920s reforestation program.[3]



  1. ^ "Taxon: Melochia umbellata (Houtt.) Stapf". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2005-01-24. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  2. ^ a b Flora of Australia Online.
  3. ^ a b c Starr et al. (2003).
  4. ^ Pers.comm.


External links[edit]

Media related to Melochia umbellata at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Melochia umbellata at Wikispecies