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Tecoma

Bignoniaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs, Vines

Various trumpet vines once lumped together as Tecoma now have different names. Remaining in this genus are several showy shrubs, one of which can be grown as a vine, another as a tree. All have 2-in.-long, trumpet-shaped flowers in the orange-yellow-red range and leaves divided featherwise into many leaflets. Heat-tolerant.

They take drought but look best with periodic soakings. Tip-pinch young growth to induce branching and reduce tendency toward legginess. Cut faded flowers to prolong bloom and lessen production of seedpods. Prune to remove unwanted seedpods and wood damaged by freezes.

Tecoma capensis

Vine or shrub, from South Africa. If tied to a support, it can scramble 15–30 ft.; with hard pruning, makes an upright shrub 6–8 ft. tall and 4–5 ft. wide. Shiny dark green leaflets give it a fine-textured look. Brilliant orange-red flowers in compact clusters appear from fall into spring (almost all year in Hawaii). Takes wind and salt air. Use as an espalier, a bank cover (especially good on hot, steep slopes), or a coarse barrier hedge.

Tecoma stans
Tecoma stans

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Tecoma stans

Native from the southern United States to Guatemala. In mildest climates, can be trained as a tree. Where frosts are common, it is usually a large shrub. Wood may die back in hard freezes, but new growth comes on quickly. Can reach 25 ft. tall and 10–20 ft. wide. Large clusters of bright yellow flowers appear from late spring to early winter. Good for a boundary planting, big shrub border, or screening. Needs heat, deep soil, and fairly heavy feeding.

Tecoma stans angustata

Native from Arizona to Texas and Mexico. Grows to 4–10 ft. tall and 3–8 ft. wide. Narrow leaflets. Blooms from midspring to late fall. Needs less water and fertilizer than the species.

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