Description from Flora of China
Melastoma affine D. Don; M. candidum D. Don; M. cavaleriei H. Léveillé & Vaniot; M. esquirolii H. Léveillé; M. malabathricum subsp. normale (D. Don) K. Meyer; M. normale D. Don; M. polyanthum Blume.
Shrubs 0.5-1(-5) m tall, erect. Stems 4-sided to subterete; branchlets numerous, procumbent, densely covered with appressed scales. Petiole 0.5-1.9 cm; leaf blade ovate, elliptic, or elliptic-lanceolate, 4-14 × 1.7-3.5(-6) cm, stiffly papery, abaxially densely strigose and puberulous, adaxially densely strigose, secondary veins 2(or 3) on each side of midvein, tertiary veins numerous and parallel, base rounded to subcordate, margin entire, apex acuminate. Inflorescences subcapitate corymbose, terminal, 3-7-flowered, with 2 leaflike bracts at base. Pedicel 2-8(-10) mm, strigose, apically 2-bracteolate, bracteoles lanceolate to subulate, 2-5 mm, abaxially densely strigose, margin ciliate. Hypanthium 5-9 mm, densely compressed strigose, margin fimbriate. Calyx lobes lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, apex acuminate, on both sides and along their margin squamosly strigose and pubescent. Petals reddish purple, 2-3(-4) cm, margin only ciliate, apex rounded. Longer stamens with connective long extended at base, curved, apex bifid. Shorter stamens with anthers 2-tuberculate at base; connective not extended. Ovary half inferior, densely strigose, apically with a ring of setae. Fruit urceolate-globular, 6-15 × 6-12 mm, succulent, densely squamose strigose. Fl. Feb-Aug, fr. Jul-Dec.
Open fields, grasslands, scrub, thickets, sparse forests, bamboo forests, trailsides; 100-2800 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, SE Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Cambodia, India, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam; Pacific islands].