Tibouchina urvilleana – Princess-flower
Other Common Names: Lasiandra, Glorybush, Purple Glory Bush, Tibouchina
Tibouchina urvilleana is an exotic shrub that is known to grow wild in Brazil’s tropical rainforests. It belongs to the Melastome family, Melastomataceae and is commonly known as Glorybush, Lasiandra, Purple Glory Bush, Tibouchina, or Princess Flower.
Princess Flower grows as a large, woody shrub that reaches up to 7 feet tall or even higher when grown in the wild. It also spreads the same as its height. It also has long, fragile hanging stems that has a tendency to become leggy and awkward. This can be avoided by trimming back new shoots and keeping the plant compact and pruned.
It has distinctive mid-green leaves that are about 5 to 8 centimeters or 2 to 3 inches in length. They have an oval shape and velvety appearance, with prominent parallel veins that curve from the base of the leaves to the tip.
The flowers of the Princess Flower plant bloom all year round and are normally 3 to 5 inches or 8 to 13 centimeters wide. They have a deep and vibrant purple color with 5 wide petals and 5 sepals in bright red color. The flowers are followed by small fruits that look like brown capsules, under half an inch long.
Because of its appearance, the Princess Flower is often used for borders or foundations, or as a specimen plant. The hairy leaves and vibrant colored flowers also work well in sensory gardens.
However, as beautiful as they may be, the Princess Flower is considered as a noxious weed or a highly invasive plant in Hawaii. This is because they easily form weeds that take over and displace native plants.