Name of Plant: Miconia
Type of Plant: Weed!
1) Plant History & General Information:
a) Scientific & Other Names: Miconia calvescens
b) Region of Origin: Native to South and Central America
c) General History: Originally introduced in the 1930’s to Tahiti, by the 80’s Miconia had replaced over 70% of the native forest of that island. Miconia grows in dense thickets, which can reach up to 50 feet in height. The leaves grow up to 3 feet long and are dark green on the top and a striking purple on the underside. The dense leaves prevent sunlight from reaching the forest floor, causing most other plant life to die and finally be choked out and replaced by more Miconia. The Miconia plant was introduced to Hawai’i as an ornamental plant in the 1960’s. By the 90’s Miconia was found growing in the wild on Maui and the Big Island.
2) Plant Uses:
a) As Food: Miconia fruit are a favorite food of many birds (invasive M. calvescens spreads by this route). The leaves of some species are eaten bycaterpillars of the interesting moth-butterflies
b) As Medicine: /
c) Other Uses: Decorative
3) Growing Instructions
a) Growing: /
b) Best time to Harvest: /
c) Sunlight Requirements: /
d) Soil Requirements: /
f) Controlling Spread: Trees are very easy to cut down but grow back right away!
g) Difficulties with this plant: It is often referred to as the “purple plague” or the “green cancer” in reference to its habit of overgrowing native ecosystems, and its leaves which are bright green above and bright purple below.
h) History of this Plant at Hedonisia: /
i) Location on Property: In and around the crater