En EspaŅol

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Tuesday - October 11, 2011

From: Phoenix, AZ
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Comments on non-native Tecomas from Phoenix AZ
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

There was a question regarding red Tecomas but I see no way to make a comment directly to that. There are indeed red Tecomas on the market one being Tecoma x 'Bells of Fire' tm and ppaf. I am the breeder of this and as well introduced the two others you mentioned Sierra Apricot which is not a cultivar and 'Sunrise'. In addition, Tecomaria capensis is more correctly referred to now as Tecoma capensis.

ANSWER:

We are not a forum, which explains why you cannot reply directly. Instead, Mr. Smarty Plants answer questions having to do with plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow natively. If you will recall, the original answer was:

"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 varieties 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'"

Any time a plant name has an "x" in it, it is hybridized. Many of the plants sold in nurseries that are taken as Tecoma stans  are either tropicals or have been hybridized with tropicals, and will not do well in areas that get frosts. Two of the plants mentioned in the original answer are definitely tropical non-natives, and as native plant proponents, we would not recommend them. The original question came from San Antonio, which had some "surprise" freezes last winter and lost plants they thought were native and hardy to where they lived.

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Suggestions for native perennials in Staten Island, NY
April 03, 2008 - My back yard garden has a good base of evergreen shrubs and perennials all doing well in clayish soil and I am ready now to add color and texture in an area with partial sun. Can you suggest hardy...
view the full question and answer

Growing Dwarf Yaupon Holly in Texas
December 04, 2013 - We planted 10 extra dwarf yaupons in our Austin front yard. They were identified as 'Gremici' dwarf yaupon. I googled them to get more information about them in order to determine why five have di...
view the full question and answer

Plants for clay soil in Leavenworth IN
October 02, 2009 - I live in south central Indiana; the soil is very bad clay, either hard as a rock or mud. I have made several raised beds but am still having problems with plants rotting. What types of plants work he...
view the full question and answer

Cenizo as a Foundation Plant in Austin
December 09, 2010 - We live next to the wildflower center. We would like to plant "Leucophyllum frutescens". We are hoping to use this as a foundation plant. Will it survive if planted in Dec. Please offer any tips ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native daylilies and pachysandra in same area from New York City
April 07, 2012 - Will daylilies and pachysandra thrive if planted in the same bed, or will they harm each other?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center