Rose Myrtle

Rhodomyrtus tomentosa

''Rhodomyrtus tomentosa'' also known as rose myrtle, is a flowering plant in the family Myrtaceae, native to southern and southeastern Asia, from India, east to southern China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines, and south to Malaysia and Sulawesi. It grows in coasts, natural forest, riparian zones, wetlands, moist and wet forests, bog margins, from sea level up to 2400 m elevation.
Kemunting/Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Myrtaceae)  Geotagged,Indonesia,Rhodomyrtus tomentosa,Winter

Appearance

''Rhodomyrtus tomentosa'' is an evergreen shrub growing up to 4 m tall. The leaves are opposite, leathery, 5–7 cm long and 2-3.5 cm broad, three-veined from the base, oval, obtuse to sharp pointed at the tip, glossy green above, densely grey or rarely yellowish-hairy beneath, with a wide petiole and an entire margin. The flowers are solitary or in clusters of two or three, 2.5–3 cm diameter, with five petals which are tinged white on the outside with purplish-pink or all pink.

The fruit is edible, 10–15 mm long, purple, round, three or four-celled, capped with persistent calyx lobes, soft, with 40-45 seeds in a double row in each cell; seed dispersal is by frugivorous birds and mammals. Seed production and germination rates are high.

Synonyms include ''Myrtus canescens'' Lour., ''Myrtus tomentosa'' Aiton, ''Rhodomyrtus parviflora'' Alston, and ''Rhodomyrtus tomentosa'' Wight. Common names include Ceylon hill gooseberry , Downy myrtle , Downy rose myrtle , Feijoa , Hill gooseberry , Hill guava , Isenberg bush , Myrte-groseille , Kemunting , Gangrenzi and Rose myrtle .

Uses

It has shown promise as a fire retardant species for use in fire breaks in the Himalayas. It is a popular ornamental plant in gardens in tropical and subtropical areas, grown for its abundant flowers and sweet, edible fruit. The fruit can be made into pies and jams, or used in salads. In Phú Quốc, Vietnam, the fruits are used to produce a wine called ''rượu sim'', and are also made into jellies, or freshly canned with syrup for export.

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Taxonomy
KingdomPlantae
DivisionAngiosperms
ClassEudicots
OrderMyrtales
FamilyMyrtaceae
GenusRhodomyrtus
SpeciesR. tomentosa
Photographed in
Indonesia