Bold Blue Tongue: Melastoma affine

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The colour of this flower is contentious, is it purple or deep pink? it also looks different in the flesh as opposed to on screen and it comes in a white form. This is Melastoma affine, a medium shrub found naturally in tea tree swamps or on creek edges in our sub tropical and tropical regions. ‘Blue Tongue’ flowers from Spring into Summer.

Melastoma affine

This is also a bush food, the pulp of the fruit can be eaten and will turn your tongue a bright blue, which gives it its common name of ‘Blue Tongue’.

Melastoma affine

I particularly love this native plant for its other common name which is Native Lasiandra or Native Tibouchina.

Melastoma affine

The lush green leaves and dense habit of the shrub lend itself to being incorporated into a tropical plant palette or mixing in seamlessly with exotic species.

Melastoma affine

Melastoma affine has a dense habit and responds well to pruning, it also will happily grow in shade, however it doesn’t cope well with extended dry periods. Given all these wonderful attributes my favourite thing about this native species is actually the hairy buds of the new flowers before they burst. The leaves themselves are also slightly furry creating a textured interest when planted among other shade loving species, as can be seen below.


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