Not a native, but a glorious addition to the pool deck or patio! Tibouchina urvilleana, commonly called Princess Flower, is a tropical shrub that can grow to 6-8' tall, but should be trained as a small tree in our climates (it's winter hardy to USDA Zones 9-11). Reddish, pubescent, somewhat brittle, square branches are clad with serrulate, downy, ovate to ovate-oblong (2-4" long) evergreen leaves, each with 3-7 prominent longitudinal veins. The purple flowers (to 3-4" diameter) with purple geniculate stamens bloom singly or in clusters in summer. Full bloom is often spectacular.
In more northern climates, this shrub is best grown in moist, acidic, organically rich, fertile, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers some afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Shelter plants from strong winds. Lightly prune plants after flowering to control unwanted legginess and spread. This shrub may be grown in containers which are typically sunk to the rim in garden areas or placed on patios or decks throughout the growing season. Containers should be brought indoors to a cool bright room for overwintering as houseplants before first fall frost.
Container plants may be brought indoors for overwintering in areas where plants are not winter hardy.