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Tibouchina spp. Dwarf Tibouchina, Glorytree

Edward F. Gilman, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen

Introduction

Dwarf tibouchina grows to about 2 inches tall and very tight to the ground. It makes a nice ground cover for a small area or can be placed in a hanging basket and allowed to droop over the side.

Full Form - Tibouchina spp.: Dwarf tibouchina, glorytree.
Figure 1. Full Form - Tibouchina spp.: Dwarf tibouchina, glorytree.
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS

 

Full Form - Tibouchina spp.: Dwarf tibouchina, glorytree.
Figure 2. Leaf - Tibouchina spp.: Dwarf tibouchina, glorytree.
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS

 

Full Form - Tibouchina spp.: Dwarf tibouchina, glorytree.
Figure 3. Flower - Tibouchina spp.: Dwarf tibouchina, glorytree.
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS

General Information

Scientific name: Tibouchina spp.

Pronunciation: tib-boo-KYE-nuh species

Common name(s): dwarf tibouchina, glorytree

Family: Melastomataceae

Plant type: ground cover

USDA hardiness zones: 10 through 11 (Figure 4)

Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year-round

Origin: not native to North America

Invasive potential: not known to be invasive

Uses: ground cover; cascading down a wall; container or above-ground planter; border

Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant

Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 4. Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Credit:

Description

Height: 0 to 0.5 feet

Spread: depends upon supporting structure

Plant habit: prostrate (flat)

Plant density: dense

Growth rate: moderate

Texture: fine

Foliage

Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: entire

Leaf shape: ovate

Leaf venation: pinnate

Leaf type and persistence: evergreen

Leaf blade length: less than 2 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no fall color change

Fall characteristic: not showy

Flower

Flower color: purple

Flower characteristic: summer flowering; fall flowering

Fruit

Fruit shape: unknown

Fruit length: unknown

Fruit cover: unknown

Fruit color: unknown

Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not applicable

Current year stem/twig color: green

Current year stem/twig thickness: thin

Culture

Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun

Soil tolerances: acidic; slightly alkaline; sand; loam; clay

Soil salt tolerances: poor

Plant spacing: 18 to 24 inches

Other

Roots: not applicable

Winter interest: no special winter interest

Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding

Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

Full sun provides for the best flower display, although flowers are not nearly as showy as those on the shrubby species of tibouchina. The plant will be grown mainly for the unusually small foliage and compact growth habit.

Publication #FPS -582

Release Date:February 5th, 2024

Related Collections

Part of Shrubs Fact Sheets

Related Topics

  • Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems
Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is FPS -582, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised October 2023. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Gail Hansen, professor, sustainable landscape design; Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Contacts

  • Gail Hansen de Chapman
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