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Melochia arborea Blanco1.189.png
Melochia arborea, plate from Flora de Filipinas (1880-1883) by Francisco Manuel Blanco
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Subfamily: Byttnerioideae
Tribe: Hermannieae
Genus: Melochia
L. (1753)[1]

See text


Physodium C.Presl
Visenia Houtt.

Melochia is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. It comprises 54 species from the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, ranging from India eastwards through Malesia and the Pacific Islands to the Americas and the Caribbean.

Some taxonomy books have placed genus Melochia in family Sterculiaceae,[1] but Sterculiaceae is now generally considered obsolete as a taxonomic class.

The name "Melochia" comes from the Arabic name Mulukhiyah which in Arabic means mallow plants of the genus Corchorus (including Corchorus olitorius) which are cultivated as vegetables in Egypt (and elsewhere). The take-up of this Arabic Molokheya as a label for the Melochia mallow plants began with the Latin botanist Prospero Alpini (died 1617), who spent several years in Egypt in the 1580s, and Alpini's name was soon adopted by the botanists Johann Bauhin (died 1613), Caspar Bauhin (died 1624), and Johann Vesling (visited Egypt 1628; died 1649).[2]

Selected species

Formerly placed here

  • Sida cordata (Burm.f.) Borss.Waalk. (as M. cordata Burm.f.)



  1. ^ a b c "Genus: Melochia L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
  2. ^ L. Marcel Devic (year 1876), Dictionnaire étymologique des mots français d'origine orientale. Helmut Genaust (year 1998), Etymologisches Wörterbuch der botanischen Pflanzennamen. Prosperi Alpini (year 1592, republished year 1640) De Plantis Aegypti (in Latin).
  3. ^ a b "GRIN Species Records of Melochia". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
  4. ^ a b "Melochia". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
  5. ^ Starr, Forest; Starr, Kim; & Loope, Lloyd (March 2003). "Melochia umbellata" (PDF). United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2010-11-30.

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