T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Heterocentron elegans (Spanish Shawl)

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Tracheophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Myrtenordningen
Family: Melastomataceae
Genus: Heterocentron
Species: H. elegans
Binomial name: Heterocentron elegans
Synonyms: Centradenia floribunda, Schizocentron elegans, Rhexia elegans, Monochaetum guatemalense, Heeria elegans
Common name: Spanish Shawl

Heterocentron elegans is a tropical perennial subshrub native to the montane regions of Central America. It is a sprawling plant with small, dark green, oblong leaves with varying amounts of tiny hairs. It has bright magenta or purple pink, four petalled flowers. It grows to a height of 5cm and has an indefinite spread.

In New Zealand Heterocentron elegans is listed in the in the Global Compendium of Weeds, as a casual alien, naturalised weed.

The photos below is of it growing roadside bank in New Plymouth.

Closed flower with distinctive spiky receptacle.