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Anyone grow Centradenia (Heterocentron) 'Trailing Tibouchina'?

Posted by mark4321 9b CA Sunset 17 (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 16, 12 at 14:40

I just bought my third Centradenia (also called Heterocentron), commonly called "Spanish Shawl" or "trailing Tibouchina". There is very little information available on these guys. They are great little plants, and I'm surprised they are not more commonly grown. I'm wondering if others have pictures of any other species or hybrids.

I'm also curious whether anyone can make sense of the naming of these plants. Besides Centradenia and Heterocentron, I've also seen Dissotis used. If one does a search for "Heterocentron Elegans" there seem to be at least two significantly different plants pictured. It's very confusing.

Heterocentron/Centradenia is in the family Melastomataceae and as such are closely related to Tibouchinas, among other genera. The ones I have grown seem to have fairly similar pink/magenta flowers, and differ in their growth habits and leaf size/color. I believe there is/are white flowered species. They are tender perennials, I think sometimes grown as annuals in colder places (if they are grown much at all).

Here's a picture of the first one that I bought, probably about 3 years ago at a local nursery. I since lost it due to a move. It was sold to me as Centradenia 'Cascade' and it is a sprawling/creeping groundcover/hanging basket plant. The leaves would be more bronze/reddish with more sun:

Cetradenia 'Cascade' (Cetradenia inaequilateralis)

The next two I've bought separately at Strybing Arboretum (SF Botanical Garden) over the last month or so. Heterocentron elegans (left) and Heterocentron floribundum (right). The H. floribundum is tiny, but will ultimately make a sprawling bush a couple feet tall (or it can be thought of as a tall groundcover).

Heterocentron elegans and Heterocentron floribunda

Does anyone grow any other species/varieties or have any experience with these? I will be propagating at least the H. elegans later in the summer and will likely have at least a limited number available for trade/postage. The plant roots where it touches the ground, so propagation is pretty trivial.

All of the plants pictured were purchased for about $5 each. The Centradenia 'Cascade' came in a 4 inch pot.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Anyone grow Centradenia (Heterocentron) 'Trailing Tibouchina'

Well, you KNOW I'll want one - buy or trade ok.


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RE: Anyone grow Centradenia (Heterocentron) 'Trailing Tibouchina'

I don't sell plants. If anyone is looking to buy these plants, there a few places that sell them, besides Strybing Arboretum.

Annie's Annuals sells Centradenia floribunda.

Almost Eden plants sells a couple kinds.

Violet Barn sells a white flowered one.

I'm sure there are a few more sources, although as I said, I'm surprised they are not more available. The Centradenia 'Cascade' that I bought was at a local nursery and the plant was supplied by a wholesaler--I don't remember which, but it was one that supplies annuals and perennials in small pots. But it wasn't Annie's.

Here is a link that might be useful: Centradenia floribunda at Annie's


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RE: Anyone grow Centradenia (Heterocentron) 'Trailing Tibouchina'

I wanted to add that I was in the East Bay and I stopped at Annie's. I had no plans to buy a Centradenia/Heterocentron. However I noticed that Annie's "Centradenia floribunda" appears to be a different plant than Strybing's "Heterocentron floribundum". As far as I'm aware, these are supposed to be the same plants, just named differently as the result of a renaming/reclassification. If anyone knows what's going on here and/or knows the real names of these plants I would love to hear it.

Here's the Annie's plant on the left and the Strybing plant on the left. You can't tell, since it's so much smaller, but I've seen the much larger Heterocentron floribundum plants at the botanical garden and it is a much more upright and less sprawling plant then the Annie's plant. Possibly they could bloom on a different schedule as well, or perhaps that has to do with location or other differences.

In its growth habit the Annie's plant seems to more closely resemble the Centradenia 'Cascade' (C. inaequilateralis) than it does the plant Strybing calls Heterocentron floribundum.

The price of the Annie's plant was $4.50 at the nursery. Their online prices are usually higher.

Centradenia floribunda from Annie's and Heterocentron floribunda from Strybing


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