Friday, September 17, 2010

Tibouchina granulosa

Tibouchina granulosa  is an evergreen shrub or small tree native to western Brazil and eastern Bolivia.
It grows 10-15 feet tall (in cultivation) and blooms most of the year, but heaviest bloom is during the warmer months.  In its native habitat, this Tibouchina can get up to 40 foot tall!

The leaves are dark green, 5-6 inches long, with prominent veins running the length of the leaf.  The upper leaf surface is glossy with depressed veins and the underside is rough with protruding veins.  The stems are four-sided and winged.
The vivid purple blooms appear in clusters at the tips of the branches.  Individual flowers are about 3 inches across.  Flowering will be best when the plant gets sun for at least half a day.

Most references list Tibouchina granulosa as hardy for USDA Zones 10B-ll but I know of several specimens happily growing in Zone 9B.  They will come back after a hard freeze.


Floridagirl said...

This one is a beauty! I love the Purple Glory Tree! I too see huge old ones in my area, which is 9A, though it's probably south of where you are. Some do get burned to the ground, but I've seen a few untouched specimens that I can only guess are sited in the right microclimate, like the two specimens in our McDonald's parking lot.

AaronVFT said...

Love the brilliant purple flowers! I think I've seen this plant by the roadside before.

Paul said...

I've put one out front of my place recently. It's only 6 inches tall at the moment, but I have hopes that this spring and summer will see a big change.