Memecylon ovatum (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Memecylon ovatum Smith

Family: Melastomataceae

Vernacular names

  • Philippines: kulis (Tagalog), sagingsing (Bisaya), kandong (Ilokano)
  • Thailand: phlong kin luuk, phlong yai (Prachuap Khiri Khan).


Southern India, Burma, Thailand, Indo-China, Peninsular Malaysia and the Philippines.


The leaves are used as a mordant before dyeing with sappanwood (Caesalpinia sappan L.), e.g. in the Philippines for fibre of talipot palm (Corypha umbraculifera L.). Leaves and roots are used as a medicine.


A large shrub or small tree, up to 8(-14) m tall with blueish flowers and initially yellow fruits, turning red and finally black. M. ovatum is sometimes regarded as a variety of Memecylon edule Roxb., but the latter species differs in having pink flowers, yellow fruits turning black, and small leaves. However, the species are very close. Probably the leaves contain a lot of aluminium as is commonly found in Melastomataceae. M. ovatum is very common on rocky and sandy shores.

Selected sources

10, 13, 14, 21, 29, 35.