Sonerila griffithii C.B.Clarke (Melastomataceae)
by Dr. Avelinah Julius & Siti Eisya Nabiha Damahuri
© Avelinah Julius

Sonerila griffithii C.B.Clarke is a rare species originally described from Gunung Ledang, Johor. This is due to the fact that it is currently only known to occur from Kedah and Johor, which is the type locality. However, its global distribution ranges to Thailand and Myanmar (POWO, 2024). It grows among mosses on big boulders in partial shade or on vertical earth banks with thick humus layer on upper hill to montane forests.

This species is among the known taxa in the genus to be having short stems (2─2.5 cm long) with a long inflorescence stalk (peduncle) of 6.4–7 cm that bears a cluster of 3─8 flowers on top. The genus either has a rounded- or square-shaped stem, but it is square-shaped for S. griffithii and so are its petiole and peduncle.

The leaves are isophyllous, which are arranged in opposite-decussate and compact. As shown in the picture, it is a specimen from Gunung Ledang which has ovate-shaped leaves (1.5–2 x 0.9–1.7 cm) with cordate basal, toothed margin and obtuse tips. However, the specimen from Kedah ( has elongated ovate-lanceolate leaves, which resembles much to the collections from Thailand (for example,

Sonerila griffithii has lamina colours that can be either in pale green to brownish green with speckled white and hairy on both surfaces, or dark green above, purple beneath and glabrous, as well as dark green with speckled white above and hairy on both surfaces. For the flowering part, the petals (5–7 x 2–3 mm), style, stigma and filament are all deep pink but the anthers are yellow.


  1. POWO (2024). Plants of the World Online. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved July 01, 2022, from
  2. The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from
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