Tibouchina heteromalla

Another thank you to to Priscilla Burcher (aka PriscillaBurcher@Flickr) for sharing an image with Botany Photo of the Day (original image | submitted via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool). Much appreciated!

The shrubby Tibouchina heteromalla is endemic to Brazil, where it occurs in isolated or small scattered populations associated with rocky areas. Known commonly as silverleafed princess flower or glory bush, Tibouchina heteromalla is a popular ornamental plant. More on the species, including its pollination biology, can be discovered via Campos, C et al.. 2009. Floral biology and breeding mechanisms of Tibouchina heteromalla Cogn. in rocky outcrops in the South of Minas Gerais (PDF). Brazilian Journal of Ecology. Volume 8(?). The paper also makes note that the species is used in the recovery and reforestation of degraded areas.

Tibouchina is a member of the Melastomataceae, or the melastome family. This family consists of 188 recognized genera and just over 5000 recognized species, making it the eight largest vascular plant family currently. Most of the diversity of the family occurs in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, and most of that in the neotropics. Visit Melastomataceae of the World and click on the images link in order to explore some of the diversity of the family.

Plants and art resource link: time-lapse video of some plants from Buenos Aires and area: La lenta belleza de las plantas (link removed due to the video seemingly making use of copyrighted material from elsewhere), from user poseidon1257@vimeo (discovered via a Facebook friend, Elizabeth B.).

Tibouchina heteromalla

8 responses to “Tibouchina heteromalla”

  1. Ruben Palacio

    The genre Tibouchina has at least 350 species, and most of them are found in the Andean Region above 6500 ft. Most of them are pioneer species and yes, they can be used for restoration. There are others like T. lepidota that are regularly used for wood.

  2. lucyg22

    “Video of some plants from Buenos Aires” . . . quite an understatement. The video is amazing and beautiful.

  3. David in NC

    Certainly one of the most beautiful of all flowers and an amazing video. Tibochina grandifolia seems to be missing from the Melostomacea catalog link though and it is one of the best

  4. Daniel Mosquin

    David, Tibouchina grandifolia is (scientifically) considered a synonym of Tibouchina heteromalla. But, it is a name still in use in horticulture and the nursery trade.
    That said, I noted one site mentioned that the Tibouchina grandifolia available for sale in Florida? differs from the true Tibouchina heteromalla — in which case, there is a botanical-horticultural mystery to figure out (and sometimes these are never sussed out).

  5. Irma in Sweden

    The video is amazing and at times even scary

  6. sandyinz4

    That video was simply amazing. I had to share it with all my friends!
    This site never fails to bring me pleasure. Thank you Daniel for all that you do.

  7. Eric Hunt

    Melastomes are such an amazing group of plants.
    That video was breathtaking. Small correction: I don’t know the full geographic range of plants, but there were orchids from the Himalayas and mountains of northern Thailand (Coelogyne nitida) and Borneo (Bulbophyllum lobbii) at the very end.

  8. Eric Hunt

    Well that was fast – I posted a link to the video to my Google+ stream and quickly got a comment – ‘The first sequence is an amazing place called Wistman’s Wood high on desolate and exposed Dartmoor, Devon UK’

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