Velvet Tree (Miconia calvescens)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Myrtales
Family: Melastomataceae
Genus: Miconia
Ruiz & Pavón

Many, see text

Miconia is a genus of flowering plants in the glory bush family, Melastomataceae, native to warm temperate to tropical regions of the Americas. The species are mostly shrubs and small to medium-sized trees up to 15 m tall. The generic name honours Spanish physician and botanist Francisco Micón.[1]

Many species are threatened by habitat destruction in their native range, and some are feared to be on the brink of extinction. On the other hand, M. calvescens is a contributing factor in the decline and maybe even extinction of other plants: it has become a highly invasive weed on a number of Pacific Islands where it was introduced, including Hawaii and Tahiti. It is often referred to as the "purple plague" or the "green cancer" in reference to its habit of overgrowing native ecosystems, and its leaves which are bright green above and bright purple below.

Miconia fruit are a favorite food of many birds (invasive M. calvescens spreads by this route). The leaves of some species are eaten by caterpillars of the interesting moth-butterflies (Hedylidae).

Selected species

M. albicans
M. fallax
Miconia salicifolia


  1. ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. III M-Q A-C. CRC Press. p. 1676. ISBN 9780849326776. http://books.google.com/books?id=kaN-hLL-3qEC&. 

External links

Media related to Miconia at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Miconia at Wikispecies

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Miconia — papillosa Systematik Rosiden Eurosiden II Ordnung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Miconia — (M. R. et P.), Pflanzengattung, nach dem spanischen Botaniker Micon benannt, aus der Familie der Melastomaceae Melastomeae Miconicae, 10. Kl. 1. Ordn. L.; Arten: südamerikanische u. westindische Sträucher: M. acinodendron, M. rubescens, M.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • miconia — ● miconia nom masculin (de D. Micón, nom propre) Genre rassemblant 600 espèces d arbres (mélastomacées) originaires d Amérique tropicale et d Asie, aux feuilles ornementales …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Miconia — Miconia …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Miconia —   Miconia Miconia …   Wikipedia Español

  • Miconia — ID 53491 Symbol Key MICON Common Name johnnyberry Family Melastomataceae Category Dicot Division Magnoliophyta US Nativity N/A US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution HI, PR, VI Growth Habit N/A …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • miconia — /maɪˈkoʊniə/ (say muy kohneeuh) noun any of various species of Miconia, especially Miconia calvescens, a small tree with large leaves with iridescent purple undersides; a weed of rainforests in Australia …   Australian English dictionary

  • Miconia — spp. Joint bush (E); Dos caras (S) . The fruits are mostly edible (!) …   EthnoBotanical Dictionary

  • miconia — mi·co·nia …   English syllables

  • miconia — mīˈkōnēə noun Usage: capitalized Etymology: New Latin, from Francisco Micó (Micón) 16th century Spanish physician and botanist + New Latin ia : a large genus of tropical American shrubs or trees (family Melastomaceae) with small flowers in showy… …   Useful english dictionary

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