Tetrazygia bicolor

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Tetrazygia bicolor
Starr 031118-0032 Tetrazygia bicolor.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Melastomataceae
Genus: Tetrazygia
Species: T. bicolor
Binomial name
Tetrazygia bicolor
(Mill.) Cogn.

Tetrazygia bicolor (Pronunciation: tet-truh-ZIG-ee-uh BI-cull-ler) is a species flowering plant in the glory bush family, Melastomataceae, that is native to southern Florida in the United States and the Caribbean. Common names include Florida Tetrazygia and West Indian Lilac.[1]

T. bicolor is a shrub that reaches a height of 3 to 9 m (9.8 to 29.5 ft). The shrub is multi-trunked, the stems' colour can be green or reddish. Its evergreen lanceolate leaves are 10 to 20 cm (3.9 to 7.9 in) long and have three parallel conspicuous veins which run lengthwise. The plant flowers during the spring and summer. The flowers are white or pinkish and the oval fruit is brown and attracts birds.

The shrub grows in the subtropical wetlands of Everglades. It prefers partial shade and grows in acidic, alkaline, sand, loam and clay soils. It has a high drought tolerance but will also grow on well-drained soils.

In popular culture[edit]

West Indian Lilac appears in the 1993 film Jurassic Park, where a Triceratops has a coating of microvesicles on its tongue. It was believed to have eaten some of the shrub but this seems to have been disproven by doctor Ellie Sattler after checking its droppings. In the book however, it is a Stegosaur and it eats only the berries from the ground, not the plant itself.


  1. ^ Rogers, George K. "Tetrazygia Tetrazygia bicolor (Mill.) Cogn.". Landscape Plants for South Florida. Palm Beach State College. Retrieved 2010-04-05. 
  • Tetrazygia bicolor Florida Tetazygia, West Indian Lilac, Edward F. Gilman, Environmental Horticulture Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date October, 1999. Reviewed May, 2007.

External links[edit]

Media related to Tetrazygia bicolor at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Tetrazygia bicolor at Wikispecies