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Melastoma malabathricum Straits Rhododendron  Senggani Melastomaceae


Melastoma malabathricum, Straits Rhododendron, Melastomaceae,  Senggani	Erect shrubs or small trees 1.5-5 m tall, branches and petioles densely covered with a mixture of short, appressed, laciniate scales 0.5-1 mm long and longer lanceolate scale 1.5-5 mm long. Leaves elliptic to elliptic-ovate, 4-11 cm long, 1.3-4 cm wide, 5 (-7)-nerved, upper surface strigose to scabrous, lower surface sericeous but with a mixture of scales on the nerves like those of young branches, margins entire, apex acute, base obtuse to rounded, petioles 5-12 mm long. Inflorescences 2-7-flowered, pedicels 10-12 mm long in fruit, bracts and bracteoles elliptic, lanceolate, or ovate, 1-2.2 cm long, 0.5-1.3 cm wide, early deciduous; hypanthium densely covered with imbricate, lanceolate, ciliolate scales; calyx 5-lobed, triangular-lanceolate, 0.7-2 cm long; petals usually 5, pink, 2.5-3.2 cm long, 1.5-2.3 cm wide; anthers of larger stamens 10-11 mm long; anthers of smaller stamens 8.5-10 Medical use: This plant enjoys a long tradition of use as a uterine tone for female health care; usually following childbirth to strengthen the womb and accelerate healing. Its flowers, seeds, even leaves are sweet and astringent, reduce white discharge, even diarrhoea and indigestion. Senduduk can also be applied externally to bruises, haemorrhoids and soreness of the leg.