Tecoma stans
Common Name: yellow bells
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Bignoniaceae
Native Range: Southern United States, Central and South America
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 2.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: Flowers freely
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Evergreen

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11 where it is best grown in fertile, organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. In St. Louis, grow plants in pots/containers that are overwintered indoors in bright sunny rooms as houseplants. Deadhead flowers to prolong bloom. Prune as needed after flowering.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Tecoma stans, commonly called yellow bells, is native to the West Indies, Florida, and Mexico to South America. It is a broadleaf evergreen shrub or small tree that grows from 10’ to 25’ tall and features a lengthy bloom of bright yellow tubular flowers. It is typically sold by nurseries in the St. Louis area as a container plant for patios in somewhat the same manner as Mandevilla and Bougainvillea. It features odd pinnate medium green leaves with ovate-oblong toothed leaflets (2-4” long). Trumpet-shaped bright yellow flowers (to 2” long) in axillary and terminal racemes bloom continuously from late spring to frost. Flowers are slightly fragrant. Flowers are followed by narrow bean-like capsules (to 8” long) that are filled with papery-winged seeds. Common names for Tecoma stans plants include trumpet bush, esperanza (Spanish for hope), yellow elder, yellow bells or yellow bignonia.

Genus name comes from an abbreviated from the Mexican name tecomaxochitl.

Specific epithet means erect or upright.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for spider mites and whiteflies on indoor plants. For more information see: Problems Common to Many Indoor Plants

Garden Uses

For the St. Louis area, grow in containers as patio plants that are overwintered indoors. In southern Florida and California, this may be planted as a specimen or massed in gardens and shrub borders or grown in containers.