Dissotis rotundifolia (Trailing Dissotis) Aka Spanish Shawl, Pinklady, or Trailing Tibouchina, comes from a genus of plants in the tibouchina family Melastomataceae. They are distributed in tropical America, as well as the old world.
The genus name is based on the Greek word dissos, which means ‘twofold’. This refers to the two types of anthers which are characteristic of this genus. One anther grows upward, and then curves downward to form a hook-like form, just as Tibouchina does.
“Rotundifolia” derives from the Latin rotundus ‘rolling, round, circular, spherical, like a wheel,’ and refers to the rounded foliage of the plant.
“Melastomataceae” is the family name which has its origin in “Melastoma L.”, which derives from Greek “melas” (black) and “stoma” (black mouth), alluding to the seeds of some species which tend to stain the mouth black after eating or drinking their juice.
Dissotis rotundifolia likes to grow on very shallow water and has the look of a ground cover but requires dampened, watery soil.
Dissotis rotundifolia (Sm.) Triana [as Dissotis prostata Hook.f.] Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, vol. 29: The botany of the Speke and Grant expedition from Zanzibar to Egypt, t. 39 (1875) [W.H. Fitch]