TIBOUCHINA

FAMILY: Melastomataceae

TYPE
  • Evergreen
  • Shrubs
  • Trees
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 10
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 11

Plant Details

Brazilian natives with deeply veined, oval, pointed leaves and big, showy, five-petaled flowers in various shades of purple. Bloom is intermittent over a long period. These plants prefer rich, well- drained, slightly acid soil; a thick layer of mulch helps keep the roots cool. They have a tendency to legginess and should be pruned lightly after every bloom cycle, somewhat more heavily in spring; resprout quickly after heavy pruning. Pinch tips of young plants to encourage bushiness. Somewhat resistant to deer damage.

T. granulosa. PURPLE GLORY TREE. Tree. To 40 ft. in its native setting, but more likely to reach 20 ft. tall and at least as wide in gardens. Broad, spreading habit. Glossy, dark green, 5- to 8-in.-long leaves with fuzzy undersides. Deep rose to violet flowers are 2 in. across, held in clusters up to 1 ft. long. 'Gibraltar' is dwarf, to just 112 ft. tall and wide, with leaves edged in creamy white; excellent in containers.

T. heteromalla (T. grandifolia). SILVERLEAFED PRINCESS FLOWER. Shrub. To 46 ft. tall, 68 ft. wide, with very large (to 9-in.-long), fuzzy, silvery green leaves. Inch-wide violet flowers are held above the foliage in upright, 8- to 16-in.-tall spikes.

T. urvilleana. PRINCESS FLOWER. Shrub. Open growth to 518 ft. high, 310 ft. wide. Branch tips, buds, and new growth are shaded with velvety hairs in orange and bronze red. Velvety, 3- to 6-in.-long, rich green leaves are often edged red; older leaves add attractive touches of red, orange, or yellow, especially in winter. Clusters of brilliant royal purple, 3- to 5-in.-wide flowers. Protect from strong winds. 'Athens Blue' is a more compact selection, with tightly branching habit. Leaves of 'Variegata' are broadly and irregularly edged in creamy yellow.

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