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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids II
Ordo: Myrtales

Familia: Melastomataceae
Subfamilia: Melastomatoideae
Tribus: Melastomateae
Genus: Tibouchina
Sectiones: T. sect. Diotanthera – T. sect. Involucrales – T. sect. Pleroma – T. sect. Tibouchina

Dated species list to be re-assigned: T. clinopodifolia – T. elegans - T. gracilis – T. heteromalla – T. herbacea - T. laxa - T. longifolia – T. martialis – T. multiceps – T. mutabilis – T. ornata – T. pulchra – T. regnellii – T. sellowiana – T. stenocarpa – T. ursina – T. urvilleana – T. violacea – T. weddellii

Species sensu Guimarães et al. (2019): T. aegopogon – T. albescens – T. araguaiensis – T. aspera – T. barbigera – T. bicolor – T. bipenicillata – T. brevisepala – T. bruniana – T. caatingae – T. catharinae – T. cubensis – T. cujabensis – T. dissitiflora – T. duidae – T. exasperata – T. fraterna – T. huberi – T. johnwurdackiana – T. karstenii – T. llanorum – T. mathaei – T. melastomoides – T. nigricans – T. octopetala – T. pogonanthera – T. rosanae – T. spruceana – T. steyermarkii – T. striphnocalyx – T. verticillaris – T. xochiatencana

Tibouchina Aubl., Hist. Pl. Guiane 445. (1775) emmend. Guimarães et al. (2019)
Type species: Tibouchina aspera Aubl.


Savastania Scop., Introd. 213. 1777.
Oreocosmus Naudin, Ann. Sci. Nat. Bot. ser. 3. 13: 37. 1850.
Type species: non design.

Note: See Guimarães et al. (2019) for a probable major re-circumscription, including removal of sectiones.

Aublet, J.B.C.F. 1775. Histoire des Plantes de la Guiane francoise 445.
Farr, E.R. & Zijlstra, G. (eds.) 1996 onwards. Tibouchina in Index Nominum Genericorum (Plantarum). Accessed: 2011 Jan 18.
Guimarães, P.J.F., Michelangeli, F.A., Sosa, K. & de Santiago Gómez, J.R. 2019. Systematics of Tibouchina and allies (Melastomataceae: Melastomateae): A new taxonomic classification. Taxon 68(5): 937-1002. DOI: 10.1002/tax.12151 Paywall Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2020. Tibouchina. Published online. Accessed: Nov. 21 2020.
Tropicos.org: Vascular Plants of the Americas: Tibouchina. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Nov. 21.

Vernacular names
English: Glorytree
Esperanto: Tibukino
日本語: シコンノボタン
svenska: Diadembusksläktet
中文: 蒂牡花

Tibouchina /ˌtɪbuːˈkaɪnə/[1][2] Aubl. is a neotropical flowering plant genus in Melastomataceae Juss. that contains approximately 240 species.[3][4][5] Species of this genus are herbs, shrubs or trees and typically have purple flowers.[6] They are native to Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America where they are found as far south as northern Argentina.[6][7] Members of this genus are known as glory bushes, glory trees or princess flowers. The name Tibouchina is adapted from a Guianan indigenous name for a member of this genus [2]. A recent systematic study has shown that this genus is paraphyletic.[3]


Members of Tibouchina sensu lato are diagnosed by a number of traits including pentamerous flowers with anthers having developed pedoconnectives (the connective tissue below the anther locules) and anther appendages that are ventrally bi-lobed.[3] These traits are likely plesiomorphic in the core Melastomeae.[3] The magenta or purple flowers are often showy, and the stamens may be dimorphic.[6] Members of Tibouchina have simple leaves that lack stipules with the conspicuous ladder-like venation that is characteristic of most melastomes.[6][8] As a member of Melastomeae, Tibouchina also has capsular fruit and cochleate seeds.[6]
Distribution and invasive potential

All 240 species of Tibouchina s.l. are native to the Americas as far north as Mexico, with a large proportion found in Brazil.[3] Many species of Tibouchina s.l. are found in the Mata Atlantica in eastern Brazil, while many others are found in the cerrado and campos rupestres.[3] Members of Tibouchina sensu stricto tend to be found in lowland savannas and on the lower slopes of the Andes.[3][9] All Tibouchina species are considered noxious weeds in Hawaii[10] because of their high potential for being invasive species.[11][12][13] Within Tibouchina s.s., many species, such as T. papyrus, T. araguaiensis, T. nigricans and T. mathaei, have narrow distributions, being known from only a handful of locations, while a few other species, including T. aspera, T. barbigera, and T. bipenicillata, have broader distributions.

Several species are cultivated for their large bright flowers. As tropical plants they are rather cold-sensitive, and should be raised in a greenhouse wherever temperatures fall below 8 °C to 10 °C. One species, Tibouchina lepidota ('Alstonville'), known for its brilliant display of flowers in late summer and autumn is common in many parts of Australia. In Australia, both this species and Tibouchina grandiflora and cultivars are commonly known as Lasiandra. They are closely related to a native shrub Melastoma affine also known as Native Lasiandra. All these plants are featured and celebrated in the annual Lasiandra Festival held in the small country town of Wauchope, which is situated in the hinterland of the Central New South Wales Coast, City of Port Macquarie. Bright purple, the colour of the flowers, forms the central theme of the festival[14]

Over 30 species of Tibouchina s.l. have chromosome counts published.[15] There is evidence for polyploidy in this group as the haploid number tends to fall in one of three classes: n=9, n=18 or n=27.[15] This series of x=9 is quite consistent within Tibouchina although there are three documented deviations from this pattern.[15] T. lepidota (Bonpl.) Baillon has been reported to have 2n =122 and n=62 in different studies, while T. semidecandra (DC.) Cogn has 2n =54 and T. urvilleana (DC.) Cogn has 2n =56.[15] For species with chromosome counts, tetraploidy is most common (16 species) while 10 species are diploid and 4 species are hexaploid.[15]

A phylogenetic analysis based on molecular data (2 plastid and 1 nuclear regions) determined that the traditional circumscription of Tibouchina is paraphyletic.[3] Four major clades were resolved within the genus which are supported by morphological, molecular and geographic evidence.[3] The type species, Tibouchina aspera Aubl., was first described in 1775 based on a specimen from French Guiana.[16][17] Based on the traditional code of nomenclature, the clade that the type species falls in retains the name of the genus; therefore, the clade containing Tibouchina aspera is called Tibouchina sensu stricto.[18] A taxonomic revision of the other clades of Tibouchina s.l. and related genera has not been published.[3]
Tibouchina sensu stricto

Tibouchina s.s. Aubl. is a clade within the paraphyletic genus Tibouchina Aubl.[3] This clade contains 22 species belonging to the traditional sections T. section Tibouchina and T. section Barbigerae.[16][3] Diagnostic characteristics of Tibouchina s.s. include the presence of scale-like trichomes on the hypanthium and leaves and a long pedoconnective on lilac anthers, and the absence of glandular trichomes.[16][19][3] These species are found in savanna habitats.[16] The following species are currently considered to be included within Tibouchina s.s.:[19][16]

Tibouchina aegopogon Cogn.
Tibouchina albescens Cogn. ex PJF Guimaraes, ALF Oliveira & R Romero
Tibouchina araguaiensis PJF Guim
Tibouchina aspera Aubl.
Tibouchina barbigera Baill
Tibouchina bipenicillata (Naudin) Cogn.
Tibouchina bruniana PJF Guim
Tibouchina catharinae Pittier
Tibouchina dissitiflora Wurdack
Tibouchina duidae Gleason
Tibouchina edmondoi Brade
Tibouchina fraterna NE Br.
Tibouchina johnwurdackiana Todzia
Tibouchina karstenii Cogn.
Tibouchina llanorum Wurdack
Tibouchina mathaei Cogn.
Tibouchina melastomoides Cogn.
Tibouchina mutabilis Cogn.
Tibouchina nigricans Cogn ex PJF Guimaraes, ALF Oliveira, R Romero
Tibouchina papyrus Toledo
Tibouchina sipapoana Gleason
Tibouchina striphnocalyx (DC) Gleason
Tibouchina verticillaris Cogn

Tibouchina aegopogon

Tibouchina aegopogon Cogn. was described in 1885. There are currently two described varieties: T. aegopogon var. angustifolia Cogn. and T. aegopogon var. aegopogon.[20] T. aegopogon is found in Bolivia and Brazil.[20] The type specimen is located at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris.[20]
Tibouchina albescens

Tibouchina albescens Cogn. ex PJF Guimaraes, ALF Oliveira & R Romero was formally described in 2015.[19] The status of this name has been debated. The online resource Tropicos reports that Glaziou published the name in 1908[21] but according to Oliveira et al., no description or diagnosis was ever published so the name had not previously been validly published.[19][18] T. albescens is found in Bolivia and Brazil.[21] There is one published homonym for this species (T. albescens Wurdack).[22]

Tibouchina albescens is a shrub from the Brazilian states of Goiás, Mato Grosso and Tocantins.[19] It is found on rocky outcrops in the cerrado and campos rupestres at elevations between 600 and 1,400 metres, including in the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park.[19] This species is similar to T. verticillaris but has membranaceously peeling bark which reveals a white or silver wood underneath; there are also differences in the shape and density of trichomes and indumentum.[19]
Tibouchina araguaiensis

Tibouchina araguaiensis PJF Guim is a shrub that has been found only in Araguaia National Park in the state of Tocantins, Brazil and was described in 2014.[16] It grows in the transitional area between forest and meadows at 200 metres in sandy soil.[16] This species is very similar to Tibouchina papyrus[16] Distinguishing characters include the triangular hypanthial scales which cover the entire hypanthium, and the abaxial leaf surface which is only sparsely covered by ciliate scales; in T. papyrus, the prominent scales cover the entire lower leaf surface.[16] These species also differ in their distribution; Tibouchina araguaiensis is found on the flat topography of Araguaia National Park, while T. papyrus is endemic to the higher elevation campos rupestres in southeast Tocantins and western Goiás.[16]
Tibouchina aspera

Tibouchina aspera Aubl. is a subshrub with densely scaly indumentum on the stem, petiole, calyces and hypanthium.[23][24] T. aspera was described in 1775 and is the type species of the genus Tibouchina.[25] There are currently three synonyms for this species: Rhexia aspera (Aubl.) Willd., Tibouchina belizensis Lundell, and Tibouchina spruceana Cogn.[25] There are also two currently described varieties: T. aspera var. asperrima Cogn. and T. aspera var. aspera.[25] This species was described in 1775 based on a specimen from French Guiana which is currently kept in the herbarium at the Natural History Museum in London.[25] It was found growing in dry, arid and sandy soil close to an abandoned home.[25] In the original description of this species, it was suggested that this plant was inhaled to treat chest pain and dry coughs.[17] Now, this species is known to be widely distributed in Central and South America, including in Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela, and in the Brazilian states of Amapá, Roraima, Amazonas, Pará, Acre, Rondônia, Maranháo, and Mato Grosso.[25][23] It is commonly found in the cerrado, campinas and restingas in humid, sandy soil.[23] In a study of the Melastomataceae of the Brazilian restingas in Pará, T. aspera was found in the herbaceous marsh, fields between dunes and open shrubby fields[23] (Lima et al., 2014).
Tibouchina barbigera

Tibouchina barbigera Baill was described in 1877.[26] It is a small shrub found in Bolivia and in the cerrado of Central Brazil.[26][27] The type specimen is kept in the herbarium at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris.[26] T. barbigera is the host to a number of gall-inducing moths.[27]
Tibouchina bipenicillata

Tibouchina bipenicillata (Naudin) Cogn. was described in 1885 and has one synonym: Lasiandra bipenicillata Naudin.[28] It is found in Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Venezuela.[28] The type specimen is kept in the herbarium at Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève in Switzerland.[28]
Tibouchina bruniana

Tibouchina bruniana PJF Guim was described in 2014.[16] Distinguishing characteristics of Tibouchina bruniana are the solitary flowers (occasionally in dichasia) and the small leaves (< 2.5 cm long).[16] The anthers have long, simple trichomes which led the authors to place this species in the section Barbigerae.[16] This shrub is found in cerrado vegetation, growing in compacted soil and in swampy areas at around 1,100 metres.[16] This species is only known from one population growing close to a nickel mine in the Brazilian state of Goiás.[16]
Tibouchina catharinae

Tibouchina catharinae Pittier was described in 1947 and is found in Venezuela.[29]
Tibouchina dissitiflora

Tibouchina dissitiflora Wurdack was described in 1958 and is found in Venezuela.[30]
Tibouchina duidae

Tibouchina duidae Gleason was described in 1952 and is found in Venezuela.[31]
Tibouchina edmondoi

Tibouchina edmondoi Brade was described in 1959 and is found in Brazil.[32]
Tibouchina fraterna

Tibouchina fraterna NE Br. was described in 1901.[33] There are currently two described subspecies: T. fraterna subsp. paruana Wurdack and T. fraterna subsp. fraterna.[33] T. fraterna is found in Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela.[33] One chromosome count has been done for this species with a gametophytic count of 9.[34] The type specimen is kept in the herbarium at Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Berlin.[33]
Tibouchina johnwurdackiana

Tibouchina johnwurdackiana Todzia was described in 1997 and the type specimen is kept in the herbarium at Missouri Botanical Garden.[35]
Tibouchina karstenii

Tibouchina karstenii Cogn. was described in 1885 and is found in Colombia. The type specimen is kept at the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien in Austria.[36]
Tibouchina llanorum

Tibouchina llanorum Wurdack was described in 1964 and is found in Bolivia, Brazil and Venezuela.[37]
Tibouchina mathaei

Tibouchina mathaei Cogn. was described in 1885 and is found in Peru.[38] There is one synonym for T. mathaei: Lasiandra lepidota Naudin.[38] The type specimen is kept at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris.[38]
Tibouchina melastomoides

Tibouchina melastomoides Cogn was described in 1885 and is found in Brazil.[39] The type specimen is kept in Naturhistorisches Museum Wien in Austria.[39]
Tibouchina mutabilis

Tibouchina mutabilis is an evergreen tree with an open crown that grows in Brazil, mainly at the Serra do Mar zone. In Brazil, it is named Manacá da Serra.[40]
Tibouchina nigricans

Tibouchina nigricans Cogn ex PJF Guimaraes, ALF Oliveira, R Romero was described in 2015.[19] The type specimens are kept at the Missouri Botanical Gardens and at Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Berlin.[41]

Tibouchina nigricans is a short, unbranched shrub with a dark purple hypanthium and calyx lobes.[19] T. nigricans is similar to T. aegopogon and T. johnwurdackiana as these species each have only a single stem, although there are distinguishing differences in the trichomes and indumentum of the leaves and hypanthium.[19] This species is found in the states of Goiás and Distrito Federal in Brazil.[19] It prefers open grassland including the campo sujo and cerrado rupestre.[19] It has been found at elevations between 1,100 and 1,200 metres.[19] T. nigricans is classified as endangered (IUCN category EN B2ab(iii)) and is only known from four collections.[19][42] It has recently been found in Parque Nacional de Brasília and Serra dos Pireneus.[19]
Tibouchina sipapoana

Tibouchina sipapoana Gleason was described in 1950 and is found in Venezuela.[43]
Tibouchina striphnocalyx

Tibouchina striphnocalyx (DC) Gleason was described in 1950 and is found in Brazil and Venezuela.[44] There are three synonyms for this species: Osbeckia striphnocalyx DC., Pterolepis striphnocalyx Mart., and Tibouchina yavitensis Pittier.[44]
Tibouchina verticillaris

Tibouchina verticillaris Cogn was described in 1885 and is found in Brazil.[45]
Selected species of Tibouchina sensu lato

Tibouchina anderssonii Wurdack
Tibouchina bicolor
Tibouchina campii Wurdack
Tibouchina clavata
Tibouchina elegans Cogn.
Tibouchina gaudichaudiana
Tibouchina gleasoniana Wurdack
Tibouchina grandiflora (=T. heteromalla)
Tibouchina granulosa
Tibouchina grossa
Tibouchina herbacea
Tibouchina heteromalla - silver-leaved princess flower
Tibouchina holosericea
Tibouchina langsdorffiana
Tibouchina laxa
Tibouchina lepidota (Bonpl.) Baill.
Tibouchina maudhiana
Tibouchina multiflora
Tibouchina oroensis Gleason
Tibouchina organsis Gleason
Tibouchina pulchra (Cham.) Cogn.
Tibouchina semidecandra
Tibouchina stenoccarpa
Tibouchina urvilleana - princess flower, glory bush
Tibouchina viminea






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