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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - October 06, 2011

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Is there a red esperanza (Tecoma stans)?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

There is a red esperanza that I pass by everyday on my way home from work. I have never seen this plant anywhere but this particular spot. Is there really a variety that is red or do you think it is just a darker version of the orange that happens to be planted next to it?

ANSWER:

I suspect that the red esperanza you are seeing isn't a Tecoma stans (Yellow bells or esperanza) at all, but another species, a close relative called Tecoma capensis (cape honesuckle), an introduced species from South Africa.  Here are more photos of Tecoma capensis.

Another possibility is Tecoma fulva, a native of South America.

I couldn't find any varieities of Tecoma stans that were red, however.   I did find some hybrid varieties that were yellow with red highlights giving them an overall orange color.   Here are a couple of those:

Tecoma x 'Sierra Apricot'

Tecoma x 'Sunrise'

 


 

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