of the world

Photos and illustrations of selected species
Delta description of the family
Our current understanding of relationships within the family
Current and ongoing research around the world
A comprehensive listing of publications on  the family
Melastomatologists around the world

Information on the largest tribe including a synonymy database
Various databases that include references to the Melastomataceae
"Weedy" under normal circumstances, some species are especially problematic when introduced
Notes on the cultivation of melastomes, plus suggestions of species that merit attention
Web sites worth exploring

  The goal of this website is to provide a centralized clearinghouse for information about the Melastomataceae. Included herein are pages providing images, descriptions of various groups, current research around the world, bibliographic references, phylogenetics, melastomatologists, and other topics.

I began this website as a way to organize my doctoral dissertation research materials, and like a weedy melastome, it has steadily grown (check out the recently updated images section!). There is, as yet, no "Melastome Society" for enthusiasts, but given the amount of traffic this site attracts, perhaps the time has come to initiate one. Such organizations are of considerable benefit to graduate students in that, among other activities, they provide a link between those in the community who enjoy growing plants and those who study and collect them.

It is hoped that by creating this site, people conducting research on this family will be drawn together, potential students will have a resource easing their entry into investigations, and our overall knowledge will advance more rapidly.

The Melastomataceae are the seventh largest family of flowering plants. They are liberally distributed throughout tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. Most species are instantly recognizable as melastomes by the acrodromous ("checkerboard") venation--identification of the genera and species is, in some tribes, notoriously more difficult.

The Melastomataceae are particularly notable for their diversity of hair types and modifications of the androecium (stamens). In many areas, the family comprises a large percentage of the flora and is generally of considerable ecological importance. Despite being a very conspicuous component of most tropical ecosystems, their patterns of explosive evolution, intriguing biogeography and natural history, the Melastomataceae remain, to a large degree, an understudied family.

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Page developed and maintained by Darin S. Penneys.
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Page last updated: 1 November, 2009