Malabar melastome also known as , Indian rhododendron, Singapore rhododendron, planter's rhododendron and senduduk, is a flowering plant in the family Melastomataceae. This plant is native to Indomalaya, Japan and Australia, and is usually found between 100 and 2,800 m on grasslands and sparse forests.
It has been used as a medical plant in certain parts of the world, but has been declared a noxious weed in the United States. Malabar melastome is a known hyperaccumulator of aluminium, and as such can be used for phytoremeditation.
In malayalam it is called Kaladi is a common plant in the Eastern Sahyas of Kerala. This plant is also common in other outdoor areas. Its medicinal properties are being studied and it is also known as Kadali in places like Nedumangad. In Malabar, this plant is known as Athirani. In Central Travancore, this plant is known as Kalampotti. The name comes from the fact that the pot-shaped nuts burst when ripe. Also known as Thottukara and Thodukara.
Melastoma malabathricum, the scientific name of kaladi, is derived from the fact that the tongue turns black if its seeds are eaten. The Greek word melastoma means 'dark mouth'. This is a wild fruit that children love very much.
Malabar melastome grows wild on a wide range of soils, from sea-level up to an altitude of 3000 meters. It is an erect, free-flowering shrub that grows to a height of about 3 meters. The plant is branched, and has reddish stems that are covered with bristly scales and minute hairs. Its leaves are simple, elliptic lanceolate with a rounded base, are up to 7 cm long, have three distinct main veins running from base to apex. Its flowers are borne on short terminal cymes 2 to 8 cm across. Its fruit is a berry, which when ripe breaks irregularly to expose its soft, dark blue pulp and orange seeds.
Can grow up to 2 m tall. Will bloom all season. Leaves acute, oblong-ovate. They are arranged opposite each other. The stalks are hairy. It has five petals of violet flowers. The seeds of this plant are in the calyx below the flower.
Malabar melastome have been used to treat diarrhoea, dysentery, hemorrhoids, cuts and wounds, toothache, and stomachache. Scientific findings also revealed the wide pharmacological actions of various parts of M. malabthricum, such as antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, wound healing, antidiarrheal, cytotoxic, and antioxidant activities. have been used to treat diarrhoea, dysentery, hemorrhoids, cuts and wounds, toothache, and stomachache.