Melastoma mutabilis Vell.
Tibouchina mutabilis is an evergreen tree with an open crown; it can grow 7 - 12 metres tall. The short, slender bole can be 20 - 30cm in diameter[
The wood is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use. The tree can be used as a pioneer when restoring native woodland. A very ornamental tree, it is excellent for use in landscaping[
S. America - eastern Brazil.
Atlantic rainforest, almost exclusively in secondary formations where it is sometimes the dominant species; favouring moist soils on slopes[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Grows best in a sunny position[
Plants have a moderate rate of growth, able to reach a height of around 2.4 metres within 2 years from seed[
A natural pioneer species, though it is not very fast growing, it can be used in replanting schemes where restoring native woodland[
The wood is moderately heavy, soft, subject to the attacks of wood-eating insects. Of inferior quality, it is only used for purposes such as rafters, beams, poles and fence posts in dry areas[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed. The seed is very small and should only be covered with a very thin layer of soil - cover the soil with a cheese cloth to avoid washing the seeds away when watering, removing the cloth as soon as germination is evident. A low germination rate can usually be expected, with the seed sprouting within 15 - 25 days[
]. When the seedlings are 3 - 4cm tall, pot them up into individual containers and they should be ready to plant out 6 - 7 months later[
The seed has a short period of viability in storage[
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