Melochia umbellata

Melochia umbellata

Family: Byttneriaceae

Origin: native from India to New Guinea and Philippines. Introduced beyond in southern Asia and Pacific Island

Common name: Banitlog, Hierba de Soldado

Reference: Phytoimages

Here is a description from Common Trees of Hawaii:

This is a small tree that reaches 50ft (15m) tall. Leaves alternate, with long slender stalk 2 3/4 – 4 inches (7-10cm) long. Blades broadly ovate, large … abruptly long-pointed, heart-shaped at base, finely sawtoothed, thin, soft hairy, dull green above and gray green beneath.

It was introduced in Hawaii in 1925 because it is quick growing and as shade for young forest trees and coffee. It is now considered an invasive weed there.

According to Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) the calyx (sepals) ranges from yellowish green to pinkish brown and the petals from pale pink to red, rarely yellow or orange-tinged, pale blue, purple, or violet.

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