Tibouchina urvilleana

Tibouchina urvilleana

Tibouchina urvilleana or Glory Flower is a small tropical tree with splendid, large purple flowers.

It can be grown as a pot plant or in the garden. Pruning allows to control the size.

It can be kept outdoors in the summer but must overwinter frost free in a cool room.

The plant is invasive in tropical regions.


Tibouchina urvilleana is a small evergreen, spreading tree or shrub that grows up to 3-6 m high in the garden but only about 50 cm high when grown in a container.

The leaves are green, parallel veined, lanceolate to oval, velvety, 10-20 cm long and 5-10 cm wide. They often have a red margin.

The flowers are purple with black stamens, they measure up to 10-12 cm in diameter. They appear in terminal panicles above the foliage. The abundant bloom can last through the year but occurs particularly from May to January.

The fruit is brown and 1 cm in diameter.


The plant is used as an ornamental shrub because of its abundant and long lasting purple bloom.


Common names:

Glory bush, glory flower, lasiandra, pleroma, princess flower, purple glory tree


Lasiandra urvilleana, Tibouchina semidecandra


Tibouchina: from the Guyanese name tibouch (French)
Urvilleana: in honor of Jules Dumont d’Urville, a 19th century French explorer and botanist




Tropical rain forests of South Brazil


USDA zone 9-11, 3 °C, doing particularly well in cool Mediterranean climate



Nutritious, moist but well drained acidic soil


Sun but tolerates partial shade


The plant may spend the summer outdoors but must be overwinter frost free, preferably at 5-10 °C


Give plenty of water in the summer but keep just moist in the winter.


Organic fertilizer after flowering or liquid fertilizer every two weeks during the growing period.


Prune in spring and summer to maintain shape and control size. Pinching new growth promotes branching. It can also be pruned to train it to a tree with trunk.


By seed, cuttings or layering : in nature drooping branches that touch the ground spontaneously root.

Sowing instructions:

  • sowing in spring in moist soil
  • do not cover the seeds
  • 20-25 °C
  • germination time : 3-6 weeks

Cutting instructions:

  • take herbaceous cuttings of 10 cm long in spring or summer
  • plant them in light and moist soil (eventually mixed with sand)
  • 20-25 °C
  • keep out of direct sunlight