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Have you seen Glorybush (Tibouchina urvilleana)?
Hawaii Early Detection Network Priority Pest for the islands of Molokai


Glorybush flower detail
Glorybush in flower
Glorybush detail
Leaf detail
Glorybush
Young glorybush growing on the side
of the road, Volcano, Big Island
Images: Forest & Kim Starr

Identification: Glorybush is an aggressive noxious weed that is planted for its attractive flower, but has escaped the garden and is a pest throughout Hawaii forming impenetrable thickets and choking out other plants. This shrub 3-4 m (10-15 ft) tall with velvety leaves covered in soft hairs. These leaves have the same characteristic 3-5 arching veins as other melastomes such as miconia and Asian and red melastome. Flowers are large (127 mm or 5 in) and deep purple with noticeable PURPLE ANTHERS. FLESHY FRUIT.
Impacts: Glorybush will readily grow into dense thickets which exclude all other plants. The bush can reproduce vegetatively when branches touch the ground. On the island of Hawaii it has invaded native ohia forests around Volcano.
Dispersal Mechanism: Glorybush is native to the tropical Americas. It has been introduced throughout the southern United States, Hawaii, and the Pacific as an ornamental planting. It has jumped the garden fence and is naturalized on Kauai, Maui, and the island of Hawaii (see map.). All 350 plants in the genus Tibouchina have been declared noxious weeds by the State of Hawaii. It is illegal to introduce or transport any part of this plant in Hawaii. On Oahu, the Oahu Invasive Species Committee (808-286-4616) will provide you with a free non-invasive replacement for any glorybush plantings in your yard. If you see it anywhere on Molokai- let someone know!

More information about this pest external link


Glorybush look-alikes:


Cane tibouchina (Tibouchina herbaceae):
Cane tibouchina is a widespread pest in Maui County. It can be differentiated from glorybush by its LONG YELLOW (T. herbecea) ANTHERS.

Tibouchina flowers
Last Updated: Monday January 30 2012. If you have any questions about the Hawaii Early Detection Network contact reportapest-maui@lists.hawaii.edu.
Funding and support for this project was made possible by the Hawai'i Invasive Species Council, the USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry assistance, and University of Hawai'i-Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit.