Tibouchina Facts

Tibouchina Facts
Tibouchina, also known as glory bush or glory tree, is an evergreen plant that belongs to the melastome family. There are around 350 species of tibouchina that grow natively in Mexico, Caribbean and South America. These plants can be found in areas with warm, tropical climate around the world today (they can survive only in frost-free areas). Tibouchina grows in tropical rainforests, on rich, slightly acidic, moist, sandy, clayey or loamy soil. It requires plenty of sun for the successful growth. Tibouchina easily occupies new areas (especially pastures and wastelands) and prevents growth of native plant species. It is classified as invasive in Hawaii. People cultivate tibouchina mostly in ornamental purposes.
Interesting Tibouchina Facts:
Tibouchina grows in the form of shrub or tree. It has erect stem and slender branches. Tibouchina can reach 1.6 to 20 feet in height and 3 to 10 feet in width.
Tibouchina has thin, smooth, light grey bark.
Tibouchina produces dark green, ovate or lanceolate leaves with prominent parallel veins. Leaves are hairy and oppositely arranged on the branches.
Tibouchina develops large, showy purple flowers arranged in terminal panicles (multi-branched inflorescence). Some varieties of tibouchina produce white or pink flowers. Tibouchina produces flowers with both types of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
Tibouchina can bloom all year round in areas with tropical climate. When cultivated in colder areas, tibouchina blooms mostly during the summer and autumn. Flowers attract various types of bees, which are responsible for the pollination of this plant.
Fruit of tibouchina is egg-shaped, brown, woody capsule. Fruit is filled with numerous small, roundish seed.
Tibouchina propagates via seed and cuttings.
Tibouchina is not used in human or animal diet (its stem, leaves, flowers and root do not contain nutrients valuable for humans and animals).
Tibouchina is also known as "Brazilian spider flower", because it originates from Brazil and has prominent stamens which resemble the legs of spider.
Tibouchina is often used for decoration of churches for the Easter in Brazil.
Tibouchina is very popular garden plant. It can be cultivated in the form of borders, espaliers, hedges or grown in the rockeries. Because of its beautiful, ornamental flowers, tibouchina is often used in landscaping and cultivated in urban areas.
Tibouchina is pioneer species (it is one of the first plants that appear in the cleared areas). That's why it is sometimes used for the restoration of native woodlands.
Tibouchina cannot survive in areas with strong winds because of its brittle branches.
Tibouchina has reddish-brown wood that is heavy, but of moderate quality. Wood of tibouchina is mostly used locally, for the manufacture of rafters, beams, poles and fence posts.
Tibouchina is perennial plant, which means that it can survive more than 2 years in the wild.

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