Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Prismatomeris glabra: A shrub called Haji Samat

In Singapore it is a rare jewel sparkling white in the shadows as an understorey shrub of the great rain forest known to aborigines and remote kampong folks as a powerful aphrodisiac. It has very thin and greenish secondary veins so delicately etched as to appear absorbed into the lamina of the leaf.

Flowers are exquisitely scented and glossy; the petals, five to six, discreetly folded.

The fruits ripens purple and should easily fool you into thinking it a Memecylon species.

Alas, it is not. The single seed is gloved on one side and a coffee bean it is... Rubiaceae! : )

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