Bertolonia maculata

Common Name: jewel plant 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Melastomataceae
Native Range: Brazil
Zone: 11 to 12
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Rose-pink
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful


Winter hardy to USDA Zone 11. Prefers part shade on moist, humusy, well-drained soils. Thrives in hot and humid climates. Tropical plant that dislikes temperatures which dip below 60 degrees F. Totally intolerant to frost.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Bertolonia maculate, commonly known as bertolonia, is a tropical evergreen perennial that typically grows to only 6” tall. It is native to rain forests in northeastern Brazil. It is particularly noted for its showy, olive green leaves (to 3” long) suffused with lighter green and marked with silvery-green along the center in a continuous or broken stripe. Leaves have bright bristly hairs. Clusters of rose-pink flowers appear several times per year.

Genus name honors Antonio Bertoloni (1775-1869), Italian botanist and professor at Bologna, Italy.

Specific epithet comes from the Latin word maculate meaning spotted.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Outside tropical locations, it is best grown in greenhouses.