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

Perennials for flower bed in Humble TX
July 28, 2010 - I have a 10 foot by 10 foot flower bed that needs to be replanted and I am located in Houston, TX so what would be some good perennials to plant that are good to grow in this heat? I have been told L...
view the full question and answer

Nutrient imbalance in Tecoma stans
October 18, 2007 - I have two Tecoma stans on the north-east side of my yard. They have grown very tall (5') but have not bloomed all summer. Last summer they bloomed profusely. Any idea what the problem might be?
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep clay bank in Summerfield OH
April 07, 2012 - Hello, We have a steep 15-20 foot high bank behind our house here in southern Ohio. Probably 50 ft.long. What could we plant for beauty and erosion control. It is nasty clay soil with lots of shale an...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen Shrubs for the Houston area
March 24, 2011 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in the Houston area and I am looking for an evergreen native shrub (no more than 7 feet tall at maturity) for two locations - one would be in full sun and the other ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants both deer resistant and good for erosion from North Oaks MN
August 23, 2012 - We have several partially sunny areas on hills that are prone to both deer and erosion. Our goal is to reduce runoff in an effort to preserve the watershed that provides tap water to many citizens of ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center