Melochia tomentosa

Melochia tomentosa L.  

Common Names: Velvety Melochia, Tea Bush, Pyramid Bush

Family: Malvaceae

Habit: Melochia tomentosa grows as a medium size shrub to 3 meters in height.  The leaves are arranged alternately, rhomboid to lanceolate, with an acute leaf apex and crenate leaf margin. The leaf surface is covered with a dense tomentose covering of gray/white stellate hairs.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in few flowered cymes.  The calyx has 5 fused green sepals. The corolla has 5 unfused pink petals that overlap along their right edges. There are 5 stamens.  The ovary is superior with 5 locules and numerous seeds.  The fruit is a loculicidal capsule.  All parts of the flower are covered in stellate hairs.

Habitat: Melochia tomentosa grows in Human Altered environments (roadsides/abandoned fields) and along the edges of Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Forests/Woodlands/Shrublands (coppice).

Distribution: Melochia tomentosa occurs on all islands in the Lucayan Archipelago as well as the entire Caribbean region, southern United States, and Central and South America.

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