Melochia pyramidata

Melochia pyramidata L.

Common Names: Smooth Melochia

Family: Malvaceae

Habit: Melochia pyramidata grows as a medium size shrub to 2 m in height (usually shorter). Stems lightly pubescent.  The leaves are arranged alternately, up to 8 cm in length, ovate to lanceolate, with an acute leaf apex and serrate leaf margin. The petioles adaxially pubescent.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are subsessile in dense clusters in leaf axils.  The calyx has 5 fused green sepals. The corolla has 5, unfused, pink with yellow bases, petals. There are unfused 5 stamens.  The ovary is superior with 5 locules and numerous seeds.  The fruit is a 5 angled and beaked loculicidal capsule. All parts of the flower have stellate hairs.

Habitat: Melochia pyramidata grows in Pine Woodlands, the edges of Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Shrublands (scrubland), and Human Altered environments (roadsides/abandoned fields).

Distribution: Melochia pyramidata occurs on most of the island groupings in the Lucayan Archipelago, the Caribbean region, North, Central and South America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Melochia pyramidata is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.