Clidemia hirta (L.) D. Don, Mem. Wern. Nat. Hist. Soc. 4: 309 1823. (syn: Clidemia benthamiana Miq.; Clidemia cognata Steud. ex Naud.; Clidemia crenata (Vahl) DC.; Clidemia elegans (Aubl.) D. Don; Clidemia hirta var. chrysantha (Naud.) Cogn.; Clidemia hirta var. elegans (Aubl.) Griseb.; Clidemia hirta var. tiliaefolia (DC.) J.F.Macbr.; Clidemia pauciflora (Desr.) DC.; Clidemia tiliifolia DC.; Leandra fimbriata Raddi; Maieta hirta (L.) M.Gómez; Melastoma crenatum Vahl.; Melastoma elegans Aubl.; Melastoma hirta L.; Melastoma pauciflorum Desr.; Miconia hirta Baill.; Staphidium anceps Naud.; Staphidium benthamianum (Miq.) Naud.; Staphidium chrysanthum Naud.; Staphidium elegans (Aubl.) Naud.; Staphidium hostmannii Naud.; Staphidium pauciflorum (Desr.) Naud.; Staphidium tiliifolium (DC.) Naud.);

Clidemia hirta, commonly called soapbush or Koster’s Curse, is a perennial shrub. It is an invasive plant species in many tropical regions of the world, creating serious damage.

Originally from the American Neotropics (Mexico to Paraguay as well as the Caribbean),[1][2] it has been introduced to Australia, Southern Asia and East Africa. It was introduced to Hawaii in the 1940s; by 1978 it had spread to over 90,000 acres (360 km2) of land on Oahu. In 1972 Koster’s Curse was first spotted on the Big Island. In Sri Lanka it is quite invasive in wet zone and upcountry forests, especially invading gaps in the forest, preventing other native species from emerging.[3]
The plant grows 1–5 metres (3 ft 3 in–16 ft 5 in) tall, depending on habitat.
The black berries are up to 8 millimetres (0.31 in) long and taste a bit like a deeply flavored blueberry. Each fruit contains more than 100 tiny (0.5 mm) seeds. It flowers and fruits all year, if conditions are moist enough. A large plant can produce more than 500 fruits in a single year. The seeds are dispersed by birds, feral pigs, other animals, and humans. Sheep will not eat the plant, and the tannin inside the fruits is poisonous to goats. The seeds can remain viable in the soil for up to 4 years.
The human edibility factor of this berry has not been fully explored. The tannin inside of the fruit is not harmful to humans and a delicious syrup may be made from the fruit. The syrup has a beautiful indigo blue color and may be used to enhance and remove the bitterness of teas such as yerba mate.
The epitheton hirta means “scrubby” in Latin. “Koster’s curse” is a commonly used name in places where the plant grows as a noxious weed, such as Hawaii.
Koster’s curse can form dense thickets that smother plantations, pastures and native vegetation.
Manually pulling plants out of the ground supplemented by herbicide application is an effective but temporary control method.[1] The thrips species Liothrips urichi from Trinidad is being used to biologically control C. hirta; it was first employed on Fiji in 1930 (Simmonds, 1933).
(from Wikipedia on 14.3.17)

Shrubs 0.5-3 m tall; young branches rounded, hirsute. Leaves opposite, 5-16 x 3-8 cm, ovate to oblong-ovate, apex acute to short-acuminate, base rounded to subcordate, subentire to crenulate-denticulate, 5-nerved, upper surface sparsely strigose, lower surface finely bristly, margins ciliate; petioles 0.5-3 cm long. Pedicels 0.5-1 mm long in fruit; hypanthium 3-3.5 mm long, moderately to sparsely finely bristly, usually with a mixture of gland-tipped and stellulate hairs; receptacle bearing a conspicuous ring of fimbriate scales surrounding style. Calyx lobes broadly ovate to truncate in fruit, ca. 0.5 mm long, the linear external teeth projecting 2-4 mm. Petals white, 8-11 mm long, 4-5 mm wide, glabrous. Staminal filaments ca. 2.5 mm long; anthers 3.5-4.5 mm long, dorsal spur at base ca. 0.25 mm long. Berries 6-9 mm long; seeds 0.5-0.75 mm long.
Flowering and fruiting: December-March
Degraded forest areas
Native of South America; naturalised in Paleotropics
(Attributions- Dr. N Sasidharan (Dr. B P Pal Fellow), Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi from India Biodiversity Portal)
  • Madikeri Coorg, Karnataka
  • Date: 23 FEB 2017 … Average elevation: ~ 1117 m (3667 ft) asl
    ¿ Osbeckia ? … (family: Melastomataceae) 

Clidemia hirta

via Species‎ > ‎C‎ > Clidemia hirta (L.) D. Don … family: Melastomataceae

Flowers of India Discussions at efloraofindia more views in flickr more views on Google Earth
klid-EM-ee-a — named for Klidemi, ancient Greek botanist … Dave’s Botanary
HER-tuh — hairy … Dave’s Botanary 
commonly known asKoster’s cursesoapbush 
botanical namesClidemia hirta (L.) D. Don … synonyms: status at The Plants List (2013). Version 1.1. 
February 23, 2017 … Madikeri, Karnataka 

mik-OH-nee-a — named for Francisco Mino, Spanish physician and botanist … Dave’s Botanary
kre-NAY-tuh or kre-NAH-tuh — scalloped … Dave’s Botanary

commonly known as: Koster’s curse, soapbush

botanical namesMiconia crenata (Vahl) Michelang. … synonymsClidemia hirta (L.) D.Don … and many more listed at POWO

Bibliography / etymology

~~~~~ ENGLISH ~~~~~
clidemia, Koster’s curse, soapbush
~~~~~ x ~~~~~

Green leaves : 9 posts by 5 authors. 1 image.

I find these leaves very pretty.
Maybe it is Clidemia hirta (Melastomataceae) ….
Photo taken on 20/02/2018 in Rattota-Matale District-SriLanka.

Also check for Melastoma malabathricum 

I believe it is Clidemia hirta. I have seen the plant in Madkeri (Coorg), Karnataka.

Clidemia hirta seems to me more like Melastoma malabathricum. I note this name!
Thank you for your expertise.

Looks close to Cidemia hirta

Noted. Thanks … I just made a suggestion before arriving at the ID by …


147 ID wild plant:

Please ID wild plant,
Location: near Reserve Forest, Chathamattom, Ernakulam District, (Kochi) Kerala PIN:686671
Altitude: 1400fsl
Flower date: 26.08.2021, 10.15am
Habitat: wild moisture
Plant habit: under shrub, erect, branches, semi hard old stem, purple young main stem, hairy, perennial
Height: 02 meters
Leaves: opposite, ovate, apex, hairy, size:13×7cm
Flower: racemose, 5 petals, diameter:16mm, white, non fragrant
Fruit: ovoid, green into dark blue, size:11×8mm, edible sweet
Seed: black, numerous, nice granular
Camera: mobile Samsung Galaxy A21s

Clidemia hirta (L.) D. Don !

Yes, it is dear …, thank you very much for ID my plant,


Please Help with ID from Hawaii-GS31012023-4: 2 high res. images.
Please Help with ID of this plant clicked by my son from Hawaii, January

Please check Pilea !

Urticaceae, Pilea sp.

it is Miconia crenata (Syn: Clidemia hirta (L.) D.Don
Got ID from Facebook Plant Identification Group.

Yes, appears close to images at



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