Medinilla magnifica

Another entry written by Alexis today:

Today’s photo comes from sftrajan@Flickr and was taken at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Thanks, sftrajan!

Medinilla magnifica, known also as rose grape, is a shrub species native to the Philippines. This member of the Melastomataceae can grow up to 2m in height. Its leaves are leathery, dark green and have distinct pale veins. Growing in its natural rainforest habitat, Medinilla magnifica is usually epiphytic (The Firefly Encyclopedia of Trees & Shrubs, 2001). Initially, it is the “active incurvation” of the stem which accounts for the hanging appearance of the flower head; eventually, it is the weight of the inflorescence itself that makes it pendulous (see: Weberling, F. 1988. The architecture of inflorescences in the Myrtales. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. 75(1):226-310).

This shrub is a popular ornamental plant because of its large bracts and clusters of pink flowers, but it requires high humidity and will not endure temperatures below 18°C. The inflorescences of Medinilla magnifica may bloom from spring through summer. Today’s photograph shows the inflorescence in bud; for photographs of the flowers, see Medinilla magnifica on the site of the University of Connecticut’s Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Greenhouses. Seeds or cuttings are used for propagation of this species.

Medinilla magnifica

8 responses to “Medinilla magnifica”

  1. Luc Vleeracker

    That is one I always wanted to grow but can’t find here in Mexico (Puerto Vallarta)
    If anybody has seeds or so please contact me
    lucvleeracker@yahoo.com
    Thanks

  2. phillip

    …living in San Francisco close to Golden Gate park, the Conservatory was a weekly experience for years.
    The Conservatory looks like a glass whitewashed palace sitting in lush grounds with annual flowers in different designs.
    The Conservatory has different wings for different climates, from moderate to tropical, and a stunning orchard room with the plants in controlled environment terrariums. A very humid wing with the scent smell of humus and rain with a fish pond with Koi and strawberry begonias as ground cover everywhere.
    A definite ‘bucket list’ item.
    PS thank you Alexis for your entry..!

  3. Marie

    Reading the daily Botany Photo of the Day is a double treat. The first treat is, of course, the plant. But the added treat is the unique eloquence of the descriptive language used to write about each entry. As a linguist, it is refreshing to read phrases that use language so precisely and beautifully, such as the above “eventually, it is the weight of the inflorescence itself that makes it pendulous”. Thanks to Daniel and everyone who contributes to the entries.

  4. elizabeth a airhart

    happy to meet this new glory plant to me
    from what i read on line it can be grown in containers
    it is really quite lovely -mobot.org has lovely pictures
    thank you phillip and alexis

  5. Sue

    Thankyou, that is truly beautiful.

  6. Wendy Cutler

    Garden shops in Vancouver have had these for at least a couple of years. They just don’t look like they could possibly support those inflorescences long enough to even get them home.

  7. Diana Ferguson

    Thank you for posting this. The plant’s specific epithet is so right on – magnifica!

  8. Olivia Braida

    Thank you for this info. I am trying to find what tree the Medinilla magnifica may snuggle into. I realize this is a shrub but I have seen pictures where it grows out of soil found in the neck of a tree branch. The question is what tree will that occur? I have found rainforest tree such as the Pterocarpus indicus Willd. that this might occur ??? The Elaeocarpus calomala is native to the Philippines but not sure if it is found in the rainforest. Also the Intsia bijuga
    (Colebr.) Kuntze but not sure of this one. Any information you can give would be very helpful. Thank you.

Leave a Reply