Melastomataceae (melastoma family) Tibouchina

Tibouchina urvilleana princess flower

Flowers, buds, and leaves of Tibouchina urvilleana at Grove. Sairus Patel, 17 Aug 2020
Leaf of Tibouchina urvilleana. John Rawlings, 2005

Showy purple flowers profusely adorn this shrub – sometimes pruned into a small tree – summer through fall. Five or so veins run the length of its distinctive leaves, which are soft and down-covered. Recent phylogenetic studies have renamed this plant Pleroma urvilleanum.

Two vigorous multi-stemmed specimens flank the front pathway of Grove (584 Mayfield Avenue). A small group is in the Hummingbird Garden, which was installed fall of 2015 at the left of the entrance to Green Library’s Bing Wing, behind the low wall.

About this Entry: John Rawlings authored the text ca. 2005. Sairus Patel revised it and added the Grove and Hummingbird Garden locations; locations up to date (Aug 2020). Removed past locations (Faculty Club dining court, Dean’s Courtyard of the hospital, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital) from the main entry; noted new scientific name; locations up to date (SP, Apr 2023).