Medium size fast growing tree with gorgeous purple flowers. It is very popular ornamental tree in Bogota. The genus is named after Maria Merian, entomologist and botanists worked in Surinam at the end of the XVIIth century. Species name comes from Latin "noble" (famous), for the beautiful flowers, perhaps the most splendid of the family. Flowers are purple to reddish. Fruit is a long capsule. Young branches are quadrangular in cross-section, become thicker and smoother as they mature. Varieties: Purple (more vigorous and profuse bloomer), Strawberry (with lighter leaves). Propagation by seed. Grows fast, up to 6-7 ft in 2 years from seed. Prefers well-drained soil, rich with organics.