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a genus of plants of the family Melastomaceae. They are erect or twining evergreen shrubs that are often epiphytic. The leaves are entire, leathery, and opposite or verticillate. The white or pink flowers are in panicles or forked cymes. The fruit is a berry. There are about 400 species, mainly in tropical Africa and East Asia and on the Pacific islands. Some species are cultivated as ornamentals in greenhouses and as house plants. The best-known species is Medinilla magnified, which is native to the Philippine Islands. Its pink inflorescences, which measure up to 30 cm long, sometimes contain as many as 150 flowers.