Melastome ‘purple’

This small Melastome is a wonderfully polite Melastome for the terrarium, only reaching about 12″ tall, with slow growing, compact rosettes.  It can be propagated by taking a cutting containing a few leaves and at least two inches of stem, in sphagnum.  I’ve tried taking smaller cuttings, leaf cuttings, putting them in potting soil, and it hasn’t worked at all.  While not all that challenging to keep alive, it is a more difficult plant to flower and grow to a mature size.

The leaves are 2-4″ long, and covered in lots of tiny white hairs.  It maintains this wonderful color, with no color difference in new leaves and mature leaves.  It does seem to prefer sphagnum, as the few times I’ve tried growing it in potting soil it has promptly melted.

And the flower!

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