Monday, November 4, 2013


Tibouchina produces flowers for me in late summer and fall. This photograph would lead you to believe it is a royal blue, but actually, it is a wonderful deep shade of purple. It has several common names- glory bush and princess flower.Unfortunately several other plants go by the name of glory bush, so you need the genus to tell which plant you mean. The leaves are fuzzy and  maybe that makes it unpalatable for deer as I have never had them browse it. The leaf veins are longitudinal, and it is a lovely plant even when it is not in bloom. It hails from South America, and some species have become invasive in some places (Hawaii, for example). But here is my zone 7b garden, it never sets seed. It does root easily though, and I usually try to root some pieces just in case the one I have in the ground does not make it through the winter. It is said to be a tropical plant, but it usually winters over for me.The sight of the purple petals laying on the ground around it as they petals shed and more open, is not easily forgotten. I do not know what species this one is, and will not hazard a guess, but will say it is worth growing, and is fairly undemanding. A place in full sun to light shade and ordinary garden soil, with an occasional fistful of fertilizer will produce a happy surprise when most of the flowers begin to fade. It is also easily grown as a container plant, and when I have grown it that way, it gets much larger and blooms sooner.

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