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Products > Plants - Browse By Region > Medinilla speciosa
Medinilla speciosa - Showy Asian Grapes

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Melastomataceae (Melastomes)
Origin: Indonesia (Asia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Pink
Bloomtime: Summer/Fall
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 4-5 feet
Exposure: Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): High Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 30-32 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Medinilla speciosa (Showy Asian Grapes) A small woody shrub to 3-4 feet tall with square stems and large (up to 8 in. long and 6 in. wide) leathery leaves that have prominent veins typical of a Melastome (a plant in the Melastomaceae). In the warmer months, from late spring to fall, appear the numerous small pink flowers, borne in panicles on pendant pink stems, that later form rounded fruit that starts pink and matures to blue. This fruit is likely the basis for the common name "Showy Asian Grapes" though we have found no reference indicating the fruit is edible and in fact the genus is included in the "The poisonous plants of the Malay Peninsula.". Plant in a shaded or morning sun location this plant of the mountain forests of Indonesia does not like to get too dry so it is best to water regularly. Though sensitive to temperatures much below 30 F, a plant in a large container in our parking lot has grown well and without damage for the last 4 years and garners much attention so it can grow in gardens in frost free coastal California locations, but can also be used in the conservatory or as a house plant. Our original seed is from Ginny Hunt of Seedhunt. The name Medinilla honours J. de Medinilla, of Pineda, Governor of the Mariana Islands in the 1820's. We discontinued production of this plant in 2011, thinking it was a bit too tropical for us but it has proven durable through the last cold winters and many people comment about the beautiful plant in front of our office so we have put it back into production for 2014.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Medinilla speciosa.