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Plant Form Perennial shrub.
Size Up to 5 m tall, usually only to 2 m.
Stem Round, covered with stiff brown or reddish hairs.
Leaves Oval-shaped with finely-toothed edges. Bright green and shiny on top, lighter underneath. With prominent vein patterns and covered in stiff hairs.
Flowers White or pinkish with 5 petals.
Fruit and Seeds Reddish-purple berry ripening to black. 4-9 mm diameter. Containing up to 800 seeds.
Habitat Roadsides, urban bushland, fence lines, stream banks.
Distinguishing Features Native plant Blue tongue (Melastoma affine) has larger, purple flowers, and Asian melastome (M. candidum) has smooth edged leaves, along with purple flowers.