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 Tabebuia subsp. var.  Trumpet trees
Starr 050518-1609 Tabebuia donnell-smithii.jpg
Habit: tree
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Lifespan: perennial
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Bignoniaceae > Tabebuia var. , Gomes

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"Trumpet tree" redirects here. This term is occasionally used for the Shield-leaved Pumpwood (Cecropia peltata).

Tabebuia is a neotropical genus of about 100 species[1] in the tribe Tecomeae of the family Bignoniaceae. The species range from northern Mexico and the Antilles south to northern Argentina and central Venezuela, including the Caribbean islands of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic, Haiti) and Cuba. Well-known common names include Ipê, Poui, trumpet trees and pau d'arco.

Young leaves of Caribbean Trumpet Tree (Tabebuia aurea)

They are large shrubs or trees growing to 5 to 50 m (16 to 160 ft.) tall depending on the species; many species are dry-season deciduous but some are evergreen. The leaves are opposite pairs, complex or palmately compound with 3–7 leaflets.[1]

Tabebuia is a notable flowering tree. The flowers are 3 to 11 cm (1 to 4 in.) wide and are produced in dense clusters. They present a cupular calyx campanulate to tubular, truncate, bilabiate or 5-lobed. Corolla colors vary between species ranging from white, light pink, yellow, lavender, magenta, or red. The outside texture of the flower tube is either glabrous or pubescent.[1]

The fruit is a dehiscent pod, 10 to 50 cm (4 to 20 in.) long, containing numerous—in some species winged—seeds.[1] These pods often remain on the tree through dry season until the beginning of the rainy season.

Tabebuia is widely used as ornamental tree in the tropics in landscaping gardens, public squares, and boulevards due to its impressive and colorful flowering. Many flowers appear on still leafless stems at the end of the dry season, making the floral display more conspicuous. They are useful as honey plants for bees, and are popular with certain hummingbirds.[2]

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Tabebuia (Brazilian name). Bignoniaceae. Ornamental trees grown chiefly for their showy flowers.

Evergreen: lvs. opposite, simple or digitate, entire or serrate: fls. in terminal panicles or racemes, rarely solitary; calyx irregularly splitting or unequally 3-5-lobed; corolla funnelform-campanulate; stamens included; disk annular or cupulate; ovary with the ovules in many series: caps. more or less compressed, usually elongated, glabrous or scaly.—About 90 species in Trop. and Sub-trop. Cent. and S. Amer. By Bureau and by Schumann, Tabebuia is limited to the 5 or 6 species with simple lvs., and the species with digitate lvs. are referred to Tecoma, while the Tecoma of this work is called Stenolobium by these authors. See, also, Bignonia.

The tabebuias are upright trees with large evergreen foliage simple or digitate and with large pink, white, or yellow flowers in terminal, usually few-flowered panicles or racemes or sometimes solitary. They are suited for cultivation in tropical or subtropical countries only and are sometimes grown in southern California and Florida. They grow luxuriantly in rich or well-manured soil and are easily propagated by cuttings and also by air-layering.

T. Aesculifolia, Hemsl. (Tecoma aesculifolia, DC. Bignonia aesculifolia, Humb. & Bonpl. ). Evergreen tree, about 20 ft. high: lvs. digitate, with 7 oblong-obovate lfts., pubescent above, tomentose beneath: fls. in terminal panicles, subcampanulate, orange-red, with yellow spots on the 3 lower lobes. Mex. — T. Donnell-Smithii, Rose. Known in Mex. as "Primavera" and said to be one of the most beautiful trees, sometimes 4 ft. diam., and the wood very valuable: fls. beautiful golden yellow, in great abundance, usually appearing before the palmately compound lvs.: lfts. 7, oblong to ovate, acuminate, rounded or truncate at base, serrate. — T. Palmeri, Rose. Tree, 18-25 ft., bearing paulownia-like fls.: lvs. opposite; lfts. 4, about 2-5 in. long, oblong, somewhat acuminate, obtuse at base: fls. white and purplish, with yellow spots, in close clusters at ends of naked branches; corolla 1 1/2 - 2 in. long. Mex. —T. pentaphylla, Hemsl. (Tecoma pentaphylla, Juss.). Closely related to T. triphylla, Tree, to 60 ft.: lfts. usually 5, elliptic to oblong-obovate, obtuse or acutish: fls. rosy pink, larger. W. Indies, Cent. Amer., Venezuela. The plant intro. under this name by the Dept. of Agric. under No. 38649 is said to have orange-colored fls. and belongs probably to some other species. — T. serratifolia, Nichols. (Tecoma serratifolia, Don). Evergreen tree: lvs. digitate, with 4-5 oblong-ovate acuminate lfts. serrate at the apex, 3-5 in. long: fls. in terminal panicles, tubular-funnelform, yellow. W. Indies. — T. spectabilis, Nichols. (Tecoma spectabilis, Planch. & Lind.). Evergreen tree: lvs. digitate, with 5 stalked ovate to oblong-ovate, crenately serrate lfts.: fls. in terminal panicles, orange-yellow, funnel- form-campanulate. Colombia. F.S. 9:948. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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Leaves of Pink Ipê (Tabebuia impetiginosa) in detail
Trunk of Cuban Pink Trumpet Tree (Tabebuia pallida)
Flower of Pink Poui (Tabebuia rosea)
A native of Mexico and Central Americas, considered one of the most colorful of all Central American trees. The leaves are deciduous. Masses of golden-yellow flowers cover the crown after the leaves are shed.
A popular street tree in tropical cities because of its multi-annular masses of light pink to purple flowers and modest size. The roots are not especially destructive for roads and sidewalks.


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