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Great foliage. The flowers are showy, but the felty, deeply veined foliage of tibouchina is also part of its appeal. Photo - Botanic Garden Zurich

These glorious purple flowers dazzle just as the summer-flowering show-offs are tiring. Let’s take a closer look.

Fact file

Name: Tibouchina sp. commonly known as purple glory bush, lasiandra or tibouchina.

Origins: South America

Flowering: Late summer to early winter

A large genus of 350 species of perennials, shrubs and small trees, with hairy, prominently veined leaves, and five-petalled flowers in purple, pink or white. Full sun positions in warm climates with ample water throughout summer are ideal, though they will flower in semi-shade.


The purple splash of tibouchina adds colour to borders in temperate and sub-tropical gardens in autumn. Photo - Linda Ross



Now: Velvety foliage is the perfect foil for masses of brilliant flowers.

Winter: Protect from frost and enjoy the last of those lovely flowers. Prune after flowering to keep a compact shape. Keep some cuttings for propagation.

Spring: Increase watering and feed with a flower and fruit fertiliser.

Summer: Water well at least once a week.


Perfect for pots. The small-growing tibouchina, such as 'Groovy Baby', make a great show in containers. Photo - Plant Growers Australia


We love them

Around period homes in the company of other old-fashioned favourites like Echium, Pelargonium and Raphiolepis. The showy flowers suit tropical gardens too, mixed with Plumeria, Hibiscus, Phormium and Allamanda for year-round colour.



Protect from frost and strong winds that can damage the brittle stems.


What else

They do tend to drop a few leaves so if you’re a neat freak, think twice!


Heaps of flowers. Queensland-bred ‘Peace Baby’s is compact and is covered with brilliant white flowers all through the warm weather. Photo - Plant Growers Australia

Some favourites

‘Alstonville’: 3m tall and 2.4m wide, with a superb display of violet-purple flowers.

'Carol Lyn': Bright purple flowers on a 1.5m tall x 1m wide shrub.

'Jazzie': Dark purple flowers, 1.5m tall x 1m wide.

‘Jules’: 1m by 60cm, with purple-blue flowers most of the year.

'Groovy Baby': One of the most compact forms at 45cm tall and wide, with profuse purple flowers all year except winter. Good for cool climates.

‘Cool Baby’: A compact 45cm tall and wide with large, pinkish-white flowers for most of the year. Good for cool climates.

‘Peace Baby’: Grows to 60cm x 80cm, with large white flowers and pink buds throughout the warmer months.


Where to buy

Visit our nursery partners year-round to make your selection.


Text: Linda Ross 




About this article

Author: Linda Ross