This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(of two kinds, referring to the unlike anthers). Melastomaceae. Some 60 or more species of bristly-hairy or villous shrubs, sub-shrubs or herbs of tropical and S. Africa, some of which may occur sparingly in choice collections of coolhouse and warmhouse plants: leaves opposite, short-stalked, linear, ovate or orbicular, usually entire, 3-5-nerved, more or less strigose above: flowers bracted, about 1 in. or more across, purple or violet, solitary, or capitate or paniculate at the ends of the branches; calyx 4-5-lobed; petals 4 or 5, obovate; stamens 8 or 10, very unequal, the anthers linear-subulate, usually beaked, with 1 pore, the larger set being joined to the filament by a long connective and the other set with much shorter or nearly obsolete connective: fruit an included coriaceous caps. 4- or 5-valved at the apex. Apparently none is in the American trade. D. Irvingiana, Hook. f. Annual from upper Guinea, 1-3 ft.: leaves linear-oblong to lance-oblong, acute, 3-nerved: flowers reddish purple, to 1 1/4 in. across; petals obovate. B.M. 5149. D. incana, Triana, of tropical and S. Africa, shrub, 2-3 ft.: leaves linear to linear-oblong, obtuse: flowers rose-purple, to 1 1/2 in. across. B.M. 3790. D. plumosa, Hook. f.
Shrubby, with long and slender shoots which are densely covered with small deep green leaves: flowers bright magenta-rose, 1 1/2 in. across. tropical Africa D. Mahonii, Hook. f. Prostrate, the stems 6-8 in. long: leaves short-stalked, nearly or quite orbicular: flowers rose-purple, 2 in. across, solitary. Uganda. B.M. 7896. D. modesta, Stapf. Slender: leaves oblong, minutely serrulate: flowers few, crowded at ends of branches; petals obovate-elliptic; stamens blue-purple, reddish and yellow; style purple. Uganda, l. h. B.