Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans)


Description:  Esperanza or Yellow bells is an irregularly shaped, deciduous shrub, normally 3-6 ft. tall in the US but more southerly varieties can reach 9 ft. It has several stems and slender, erect branches. Clusters of large, trumpet-shaped, yellow flowers are very showy against the lance-shaped, olive-green leaves. Long, thin pods are conspicuous in autumn. It has an enormous natural range, extending from south Texas west to Arizona and south through Mexico and Central America to South America as far as northern Argentina, as well as in southern Florida south through much of the Caribbean. Plants native to the southwestern US and adjacent Mexico are Tecoma stans var. angustata, which is shorter, more drought-tolerant, and more cold-tolerant than some of the tropical varieties sold in nurseries.

Anyone who has seen this plant in bloom can understand why one of its names is Yellow bells, as it produces great, attention-grabbing, yellow blossoms. In recent years, it has become a popular landscaping plant, valued as much for its drought-tolerance as for its spectacular appearance.

Family:  Bignoniaceae

Synonym(s):  Yellow bells, Yellowbells, Esperanza, Yellow trumpetbush, Yellow trumpetflower, Trumpetbush, Trumpetflower, Yellow elder

USDA Symbol:  TEST

Duration:  Perennial

Habit: Shrub

Size Class: 3-6 ft., 6-12 ft.

Bloom Color: Yellow

Bloom Time: Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov

Water Use:  Low

Light Requirements:  Sun

Soil Moisture:  Dry

Bloom Notes:  North American native varieties of this species can survive winters within their natural range but may die to the ground during especially harsh winters even there. Varieties sold in nurseries may be from tropical stock and not do so well in US cold. Yellow bells is drought tolerant and Southwestern varieties are adapted to monsoon rains with dry spells between. They may flower better if such conditions are emulated in planned landscapes, so allow ground to dry out between waterings. It is tolerant of confinement if containers are at least 12 inches in diameter and thus makes a good potted specimen.

ATTRIBUTION:  All of the Texas Wildflower images in this post are copyrighted and are the exclusive property of Terry B. Kahler. Reproduction without explisit written consent is prohibited. Some of the information contained in this section was taken from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website and is being used under their terms of use. Redistribution from this site is prohibited. Additional information contained in this section was taken from the USDA website including the USDA code.

LBJ Logo  USDA Logo

 

Missing Images:  Plant, Leaf, Close-Up, Fruit-Seed

Data Completeness:  Complete

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