TECOMA

FAMILY: Bignoniaceae

TYPE
  • Evergreen
  • Shrubs
  • Trees
  • Vines / Ground Covers
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Moderate Water

Plant Details

This heat-loving group includes several showy shrubs, one of which can be grown as a vine and another as a tree. All feature 2-in.-long, trumpet-shaped flowers in the yellow-orange-red range and leaves divided featherwise into many leaflets. Excellent for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Easy to grow in well-drained soil. Take drought but look best with periodic soakings. Remove faded flowers to prolong bloom and lessen production of seedpods. Resist damage from browsing deer.

T. x alata. ORANGE BELLS. Shrub. Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11. Grows to 8 ft. tall, 45 ft. wide, with bright green foliage and orange flowers throughout warm weather. Tolerates light frost; may die to ground in a hard freeze but recovers quickly in warm weather. Some consider 'Orange Jubilee' to be a selection of this plant; others identify it as a hybrid between T. capensis and T. stans.

T. capensis (Tecomaria capensis). CAPE HONEYSUCKLE. Shrub or vine. Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11. From South Africa. If tied to a support, can scramble to 1530 ft.; with hard pruning, makes an upright shrub 68 ft. tall, 45 ft. wide. Shiny dark green leaflets give it a fine-textured look. Brilliant orange-red flowers in compact clusters appear from fall into spring. Takes wind, salt air. Use as espalier, bank cover (good on hot, steep slopes), coarse barrier hedge. Little water. 'Aurea' has lighter green foliage and yellow flowers; somewhat less vigorous than the species. 'Buff Gold' has golden orange blooms.

T. garrocha. ARGENTINE TECOMA. Shrub. Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11. From Argentina. To 10 ft. tall and wide. Clusters of salmon to orange blossoms throughout warm weather. Reacts to freezes like T. x alata.

T. stans (Stenolobium stans). YELLOW BELLS, YELLOW TRUMPET FLOWER, YELLOW ELDER, ESPERANZA. Shrub or tree. Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11. Native from southern U.S. to Guatemala. In Tropical South, can be trained as a tree. Usually a large shrub in the Coastal South. Wood may die back in hard freezes, but new growth comes on quickly. Can reach 25 ft. tall, 1020 ft. wide. Large clusters of lightly fragrant, bright yellow flowers from late spring to early winter. Good for boundary planting, big shrub border, screening. Needs heat, deep soil, fairly heavy feeding.

'Gold Star' is a profuse, early bloomer sometimes used as an annual in cold-winter areas. It grows about 3 ft. tall and wide in its first season and may reach 8 ft. tall and wide if not cut back or frozen. Has extra-large blooms that come earlier in the season. 'Sierra Apricot', a hybrid with T. x alata, has apricot-colored flowers on a compact, bushy plant just 3 ft. tall and 45 ft. wide.

T. s. angustata. Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11. Native from Arizona to Texas and adjoining Mexico. To 410 ft. tall, 38 ft. wide. Narrow leaflets. Blooms from midspring to late fall. Needs less water and fertilizer than the species. Hardy to 10F.

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