(Sw.) Poir. subsp. parvifolia (Benth.) Morley, Brittonia 23:422.1971
M. parvifolia Benth.
Guayabillo, Arracheche, Solacra, Cierito, Kenna
Shrub, usually 2-4 (15) m tall, essentially glabrous, divaricately branched; younger stems ribbed, the ribs 4, thin, sharp, deciduous on older wood. Leaves sessile; blades lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, acute to acuminate, rounded to subcordate and inequilateral at base, 3-8.5 cm long, 2-3 cm wide, pellucid-punctate, the margins undulate; vein 1 (the midrib). Fascicles axillary, bearing few flowers; pedicels with opposite-decussate bracteoles; flowers 5-parted; hypanthium and calyx together 5-6 mm long, campanulate, the lobes narrowly triangular, to 3 mm long, persisting in fruit; petals white, acuminate, 4-6 mm long, soon falling; stamens 10, exserted, shorter than style; anthers ca 2 mm long, with 2 subterminal, short, porelike slits, the connective darker, thickened toward base, bearing a dorsal gland prolonged at base; ovary inferior; style elongating to more than twice the length of the flower. Berries round, 7-13 mm diam, with persistent hypanthia, green turning deep purple at maturity, indehiscent or splitting open irregularly at maturity, ephemerally sweet; exocarp thin; mesocarp purplish, 2-3 mm thick; seed 1, subglobose, to 7 mm broad, with minute longitudinal ridges. Croat 11790.
Common in the forest. Flowers sporadically throughout the year, mostly in August and September but also in the middle of the dry season. The fruits probably develop in about a month.
Leaves are similar to Eugenia nesiotica (106. Myrtaceae), a tree that flowers before putting on new leaves. Though Melastomataceae are said to lack stipules, this species usually bears interpetiolar structures that are at least stipule-like.
Mexico to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and western Brazil. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Los Santos, Panama, and Darién, from tropical dry forest in Coclé, from premontane wet forest in Coclé and Panama, and from tropical wet forest in Coclé.