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Friday, October 30, 2009

Tibouchina Urvilleana - A Pleasant Surprise

Botanical name: Tibouchina urvilleana
Common name: Princess Flower, Glory Bush, Purple Glory Bush
Family: Melastomataceae (melastoma or meadow beauty Family)
Origin: Brazil

Malay name: Senduduk Baldu

This is my glory bush or princess flower. The flowers are in brilliant shades of blusih purple. Stems are slender while the leaves are simple, feathery and velvety green. I am growing this plant in a container but it can be grown as an ornamental tree or shrub. I also saw this plant at The Secret Garden of 1-Utama where it is grown on the ground using granulated horticultural carbon soil. It is about 5ft tall.

The Pleasant Surprise

When I purchased this plant at a small little nursery at Sungei Buloh, the lady told me that it was senduduk (Melastoma malabathricum). I was looking for a senduduk plant then. She sold the seedling to me for only RM 5.00 (USD 1.30). Somehow, I felt a little bit strange that this flower is slightly different from the wild senduduks that we used to see in the kampungs (villages). Anyway, I took it home, nurture it, treated it like a senduduk and expected medicinal properties from this plant.

When I visited The Secret Garden recently, I found a plant that looked exactly like the one I am having, flowers, stems and leaves. But it was labeled as Tibouchina urvilleana aka glory bush, native to Brazil! So, I made enquiries and did some research. I also took a photo of the flower at The Secret Garden and compared it with mine at home. Finally I found that my plant is indeed glory bush and not senduduk. So this is 'A Pleasant Surprise' to me. This plant is inexpensive and it has not stopped blooming since that day I first bought it. For the price of a wild flower, I got a glamorous princess.

This is my entry for Blooming Friday Week 5. The theme today is A Pleasant Surprise. My grateful thanks to Katarina at Roses and Stuff for hosting Blooming Friday. To see what others have posted or to participate, click here.

This is also my entry for Fertilizer Friday. My grateful thanks to Tootsie at Tootsie Time for hosting Fertilizer Friday. To see what others have posted or to participate, visit

This is also my entry for Today's Flowers #64. My grateful thanks to the TF folks: Santilli, Denise, Pupo and Valkyrien for hosting Today's Flowers. To participate or view other floral displays around the world, click here.


  1. If I am not mistaken, these are the flowers people use to colour their desert or kuih.

  2. What a pleasant surprise! So, you got yourself 2 plants now - while you look for the senduduk!!. I do not have it in my garden.

  3. Oh do link this to my Fertilizer Friday!!! what a beautiful post!

  4. I love "good surprises" in the garden. How fun for you! It is such a striking color, and since I am on an older computer, it looks blue. Is it? I will check back later.
    Thanks for the advice on cameras, it was nice of you to help me out.

  5. Lovely! I have been very pleased with my potted Tibouchina. It is still blooming.

  6. Yes Autumn Belle, this purple glory bush is a very pleasant surprise, very beautiful. You have the climate, as in Brazil, to grow it, not here in Chile.
    Muchos cariños
    María Cecilia

  7. Such a beautiful flower and a lovely vine in your yard. Good research on the plant.

  8. Ah I remember going to Sungei Buloh for plants - good fun! And not too expensive. Amazing purple - especially the bud.

  9. What a gorgeous color! Pretty!

  10. thanks girl...nice to have you link in! have a great weekend

  11. Thanks a lovely blue princess. I often thought blue flowers are rare. Thanks for introducing this, I will surely look for this one and get it for my garden.

  12. I like glory bush. Its blue flower is beautiful! You made a good choice :-D and the bush is going to grace your garden well. Happy blogging!

  13. That is a pretty color and bloom. I didn't catch that a surprise was the theme this week. Silly me. When I read Katarina's post, I didn't think there was a theme this time.

  14. How great that you ended up having such a great plant and you didn't even know it at first. The flower is so beautiful.

  15. Lovely flower. Have a nice day. Lena/isis

  16. Autumn Belle, what a pleasant surprise! The flowers are indeed beautiful, they remind me a little of those of Clematis.
    Happy Blooming Friday!

  17. They are beautiful! And what a nice surprise. Selamat berakhir pekan!

  18. What a lovely purple glory bush! I love this type of pleasant surprises in the garden!
    Have a great weekend.

  19. Rainfield, if you are talking about the steamed blue glutinouse rice cakes, a nyonya desert, they use another type of flower called the bunga telang (clitoria ternatea or butterfly pea flowers).

    Keats, I only have one plant i.e. the tibouchina instead of the senduduk. At the moment, I have fallen in love with the tibouchina, so senduduk can wait a little longer. Luckily this is not about husbands! LOL.

    Tootsie, I am seeing double here but they are 2 different pretty images of you in the avatar. Thank you for letting me participate in FF.

    Rosey, the correct colour is dark bluish-purple. Under the sun, it looks more purple but in camera, it looks more blue.

    Nell Jean, I feel the same as you too.

    Maria, this tibouchina is like a Brazilian princess.

    Mary Delle, tibouchina is a woody shrub. Sorry, if I got you confused.

    Evelyn, Yes! Sungei Buloh is my favourite place for nurseries. This interesting find comes from a very small nursery there.

    Dragonfly Treasure, I found a treasure, and hugs back to you.
    James, good luck and hopefully, you won’t get the senduduk mixed up with tibouchina.

    Stephanie, my garden has only enough space to it in a pot. I think it will definitely look nice as a bush on the ground.

    Sue, I’ll be visiting your garden soon.

    Noelle, Lena/isis, Andre, Randi. I’m so glad you all like my pleasant surprise too.

    Katarina. Ah yes, I was just going to say that it looked like clematis. Thank you for hosting BF.

  20. The flowers are a beautiful colour. I grew one indoors a few years ago but it grew too big and I had to get rid of it. Your pictures are making me think again - perhaps I should replace it.

  21. I have tried to root this plant to no avail. I guess I'll just have to purchase one!!

  22. What a beautiful flower! I love the visid purple color. I have a secret garden too...Christine

  23. That is so pretty. As surprises go, I don't think you can complain much, can you? Not too much money and blooming like crazy in a gorgeous shade of purple. Sounds pretty terrific to me, too!

  24. It is a beautiful flower...and the colour is lovely too! What a pleasant surprise indeed!

  25. Sally, Easygardener, Darla, Xinex, Erin,Thoughtfully Blended Hearts, Kanak. Thank you very much for the wonderful comments. This plant really has a striking purple colour and the leaves are very pretty too. I have seen the bush ant it looked very pretty too.

  26. beautiful flower. I have this kind but haven't flowered yet. I just bought it two months ago.

  27. I love the rich colour! These flowers are quiet commonly grown in the parks around here.

  28. Wow...such a wonderful surprise! The purple colour is absolutely vibrant and stunning! A lovely article, great photography too, Autumn Belle!

  29. Hello Autumn Belle, lovely purple flower, my birth color. You are one brilliant gardener. Am hoping I can find time to garden -I use to and I love it.

  30. What an interesting bush and lovely flower

  31. Eden, Sandy, Jama, Jacqueline, Tes.
    Thank you very much for your visits and wonderful comments.


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