Just got back from a local nursery with 2 Princess Flower shrubs (Tibouchina Urvilleana). Tag indicated they were cold hardy to zone 8. Just called the grower, Parson's nursery in Georgetown, and I was told they should return with heavy mulch protection next winter - we'll see...
You'll love this plant! I've one for a number of years, though I have to bring mine in here in Raleigh. Fell in love with it a long time ago when I lived in Puerto Rico, where it is common. Nice to see it being propagated now.
Even though it's small, it's still a beautiful plant. The foliage is very attractive - can hardly wait to see it bloom. If it survives next winter with heavy mulch, it might be viable in Raleigh, too. I'll let you know if it returns next spring, yote.
Yo Yote, On the DG plantfile page there's a report that with mulch, the princess flower survived winters in Durham. The variegated variety is especially gorgeous. Maybe next year I'll give it a try if my non variegated makes it through next winter.
If yours died, ardesia, I'd better do the deluxe mulch job - dirt/plastic/pinestraw. I'm still waiting for my protected heliconia to show signs of growth. Apparently the ground is still a bit too cold.
Don't give up, Donnacreation! ALL my "historically reliable" tropicals have been slow to come back this year, but they're mostly showing growth now. Cestrum Nocturnum, Aloysia Virgata, multiple Zingibers, Hypericums, Clerodendrum Ugadense...they're all showing signs of growth now, but a good 2-3 weeks behind where they'd normally be in mid April.