Miconia minutiflora

Miconia minutiflora. The “super plant” that feeds the birds.
Miconia with Red Capped Manakin

If you want the birds to be attracted to your backyard, the best strategy to accomplish your desires would be planting native plant species, that produce flowers and fruits that your resident birds like to eat.

At Tranquilo Bay, a long time ago, we realized that this was the best way to attract birds and butterflies to our gardens. There was one tree that, immediately, caught our attention because of its fruit production. This “super plant” was covered in fruit, twice a year, during migration time. So many different bird species decorate its branches during the fruiting period, that we felt it was mandatory to plant more of this mysterious tree around, and we did.
Birding Panama

The research to find information about the “super plant” was not the easiest and, the first thing we found was that it belonged to the Melastomatacea family, then its genus, miconia sp, and finally we got to the “name and surname”, the specie name was Miconia minutiflora.

The species M. minutiflora is due to their diminutes flowers, which flowers in a very interesting strategy that Genty in 1974 described as “the big bang flowering” strategy, where all the flowers from a branch will start flowering at the same time and for just 2 to 3 days. Every one of these small flowers will become one of the hundreds of fruits that will cover the branches tips.
Panama Wildlife

This native tree, about 15 feet tall, can be found from Mexico, through mesoamerica, Colombia, Venezuela, Surinam, French Guayana, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, North Brazil, Cuba and Trinidad. In Panama, it is reported for every province.

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