Information & resources about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld
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Tabebuias

Tabebuia and Handroanthus species, hybrids and cultivars

Family: Bignoniaceae


This genus contains many species of trees which produce spectacular flowering displays. While they are valued elsewhere for the timber and medicial products derived from them, the tabebuias are primarily grown in Queensland as ornamentals.

Although not uncommon in Queensland, this group is not as widely grown or as well known as the poinciana or jacaranda. Given that these latter two aren't well suited to the restricted space of modern suburbia, perhaps it's time for lovers of tropical flowering trees to explore the tabebuias, especially the smaller-growing species.

What's more, the tabebueas tend to flower earlier in the spring, providing colour before the many of the other of the tropical flowering trees. The pink-flowered species can even be considered a tropical substitute for the flowering cherries of the northern hemisphere. Continued below...



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Where to buy Tabebuia in Qld

If you live in an area where Tabebuia grows, check your local general garden centres. You may have to hunt around for the species you want, however. This section is intended to advertise nurseries that have a selection of tabebuias for sale.

If you specifically want to buy plants in large sizes for instant landscapes, try the nurseries listed on the Advanced Plants page.

YOUR GARDEN ONLINE

Ph: (07) 4778 6344
yourgardenonline.com.au

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Your Garden Online supplies native and exotic landscaping plants suitable for hot climates. All are sun-hardened and ready to plant.

Customers in Townsville & surrounding areas can have plants delivered or arrange pick-up. Delivery to customers outside this area (not WA, NT or Tas) is by arrangement.

Select from a range of groundcovers, accent plants, shrubs and trees, including ixoras, crotons, tabebuias and the Indian mast tree (subject to availability).

Trees come in advanced sizes. If you don't see the variety you want in stock, ask about the plant sourcing service.

Visit the Your Garden Online WEBSITE to learn more.

If you operate a nursery with a good range of Tabebuia plants or seeds for sale, consider Advertising here.

More Information

Many Tabebuia species have recently (2007) been reclassified into the genus Handroanthus and two others into Roseodendron, but given that the trees are best known and mostly still sold under the old name, they will be referred to as tabebuias here.

Nomenclature of the tabebuias is confused enough given the number of names that individual species have been called over the years and the similarity of some names. Furthermore, several species have similar pink flowers and several others bright yellow, making it difficult to simply distinguish between various species by sight, even when in flower.

The common names are even less useful, with vague names like "Pink Trumpet Tree" and "Golden Trumpet Tree" being applicable to several species. A huge number of common names are applied to the trees in various parts of the world. Only a few likely to be encountered in gardening publications and nursery lists have been included below. In the Americas, members of the genus or its timber are often called "ipê".

Originating in Central and South America, there are about 100 species of Tabebuia. But only a few are cultivated in Australia so far. These include (see links for further information):



Tabebuia impetiginosa

Synonyms: Handroanthus impetiginosus, Tabebuia palmeri, Tabebuia avellanedae, Tabebuia avellanedae
Common names: Pink Trumpet Tree, Purple Tabebuia
Pink flowers
Tabebuia impetiginosa - Pink Trumpet Tree includes some good photos Trees of Santa Cruz County (California)
Tabebuia palmerii in flower on a Townsville street. Graeme Cocks' Plants of Townsville
Pink Trumpet Tree Handroanthus impetiginosus Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute, California
Tabebuia impetiginosa Purple Tabebuia. University of Florida (PDF)
Tabebuia impetiginosa - the Dwarf Pink Trumpet Tree "My Dry Tropics Garden" blog, Qld
Tabebuia impetiginosa (amapa, amapa morada) Research and Conservation in Southern Sonora, Mexico. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Tabebuia impetiginosa University of Florida (PDF)
Tabebuia impetiginosa (=T. palmeri) Department of Botany. University of Hawai`i at Manoa
Tabebuia impetiginosa, Pink Trumpet Tree. University of Florida
Purple Tabebuia (Tabebuia impetiginosa) Online Manual of Subtropical Landscaping Plants, Palm Beach Community College, Florida
Tabebuia avellanedae Bureau of Street Services, City of L.A.
Handroanthus heptaphyllus - The Correct Name for the Pink Trumpet Tree in Southern California Useful information on how to tell the difference between H. heptaphyllus and H. impetiginosus. Hodel Palms and Trees, Univ. California
Photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr
Tabebuia impetiginosa in Hawaii. Image courtesy Forest & Kim Starr, Starr Environmental
Photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr
Tabebuia impetiginosa in Hawaii. Image courtesy Forest & Kim Starr, Starr Environmental

Tabebuia heterophylla

Synonyms: Tabebuia pentaphylla
Common names: Pink Trumpet Tree
Pink flowers. Said to be "probably the most variable of all species of Tabebuia."[1]
[1] Tabebuia heterophylla University of Florida (PDF)
Tabebuia heterophylla (DC.) Britton Silvics of North America, United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service
Cuban Pink Trumpet Tree Tabebuia heterophylla. Flowers of India
Tabebuia heterophylla (DC.) Britton (in Spanish) United States Dept Agriculture Forest Service, USA (PDF)
Pink Tabebuia (Tabebuia heterophylla) Online Manual of Subtropical Landscaping Plants, Palm Beach Community College, Florida
Pink blossoms of Tabebuia pentaphylla Forest Research Institute Malaysia
Pink Trumpet (Tabebuia pentaphylla) - ipê-Rosa Includes pictures of a handsome specimen in leaf and in flower. Leaves and Grass (Blog)
Tabebuia heterophylla Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk

Photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr Photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr
Tabebuia heterophylla in Hawaii. Image courtesy Forest & Kim Starr, Starr Environmental
Photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr
Tabebuia heterophylla in Hawaii. Image courtesy Forest & Kim Starr, Starr Environmental

Tabebuia pallida

Synonyms:
Common names: White Trumpet Tree
Pink flowers
Tabebuia pallida (White trumpet tree) James Cook University, Qld
Tabebuia pallida Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk

Tabebuia rosea

Synonyms:
Common names: Pink Trumpet Tree, Rosy Trumpet Tree
Pink flowers
Tabebuia rosea (Pink Trumpet Tree) James Cook University, Qld
Tabebuia rosea Trees of Miami, Florida, USA
Pink trumpet tree Tabebuia rosea Flowers of India
Tabebuia rosea  AgroForestryTree Database
Tabebuia rosea Ecocrop database, FAO
Tabebuia Rosea - Almost Like A Cherry Blossom Season On the Green Side of Life (blog), Malaysia
Tabebuia rosea (Bertol.) DC. Especies de Costa Rica
Sorry, no photos!

Tabebuia aurea

Synonyms: Tabebuia argentea, Tabebuia caraiba
Common names: Silver Trumpet Tree, Caribbean trumpet-tree, Tree of gold
Yellow flowers. The common name Silver Trumpet Tree and Latin name of the synonym T. argentea refers to the silvery leaves.
Tabebuia aurea James Cook University, Qld
Yellow Tabebuia, Silver Tabebuia (Tabebuia aurea) Online Manual of Subtropical Landscaping Plants, Palm Beach Community College, Florida
Tabebuia aurea Lee County Extension, Univ. Florida (PDF)
Tabebuia caraiba: Trumpet Tree University of Florida (PDF)
Caribbean trumpet-tree (Tabebuia aurea) Dendrology at Virginia
Tabebuia - Often Overlooked Flowering Trees (Mostly discusses T. argentea) Hendry County Extension Service, Univ Florida
Tabebuia aurea Aquatic, Wetland and Invasive Plants, Florida
Tabebuia aurea (paratodo) Natural History Museum, UK

Photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr  Photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr
Tabebuia aurea in Hawaii. Images courtesy Forest & Kim Starr, Starr Environmental
Photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr Photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr
Tabebuia aurea in Hawaii. Image courtesy Forest & Kim Starr, Starr Environmental
Photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr  Photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr
Tabebuia aurea in Hawaii. Images courtesy Forest & Kim Starr, Starr Environmental

Tabebuia chrysantha

Synonyms: Handroanthus chrysanthus, Handroanthus chrysanthus subsp. chrysanthus
Common names: Golden trumpet tree
Yellow flowers
Tabebuia chrysantha (amapa amarilla) Research and Conservation in Southern Sonora, Mexico. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum


Tabebuia chrysotricha

Synonyms: Handroanthus chrysotrichus
Common names: Golden Trumpet Tree
Yellow flowers
Tabebuia chrysotricha - Golden Trumpet Tree Graeme Cocks' Plants of Townsville
Golden Trumpet Tree Tabebuia chrysotricha. The Florez Nursery blog, NSW
Tabebuia chrysotricha - Golden Trumpet Tree Trees of Santa Cruz County (California)
Golden Trumpet Tree Handroanthus chrysotrichus Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute, California
Tabebuia chrysotricha City of Los Angeles Street Tree Selection Guide
Golden Trumpet Tree (Tabebuia chrysotricha) Online Manual of Subtropical Landscaping Plants, Palm Beach Community College, Florida
Tabebuia chrysotricha Bureau of Street Services, City of L.A.

Horticultural future of Tabebuia in Australia

It's suprising that the Tabebuias aren't more widely grown in the warmer parts of Australia, either as street trees or in home gardens. A limited number of species are commercially available here. Importation and trials of other species may increase the options with respect to tree size and form, flower colour and cold tolerance.

So far, it seems that there's been relatively little selection, hybridisation or breeding of Tabebuias for ornamental use done at a commercial level anywhere in the world. One place to start might be selection and vegetative propagation of superior seedlings. One named cultivar that is sold in Australia is T. impetiginosa 'White Beauty" (listed as T. palmeri) with white flowers instead of the usual pink.

There has also been at least some work done in the U.S. (see links below), but there appears to be much untapped potential for developing new cultivars with desirable growth forms, increased cold tolerance, different flower colours or even repeat-blooming.

Some people have expressed concerns over the weed potenial of some Tabebuia species. Low seed-set or sterility (possibly through hybridisation) would be a therefore be a worthwhile criteria of any breeding programme in the future.


Taxonony and Nomenclature

GRIN Species Records of Tabebuia Germplasm Resources Information Network, USDA
Sorting Tabebuia names Multilingual Multiscript Plant name Database, University of Melbourne
35. TABEBUIA Gomes ex A. DC., Biblioth. Universelle Genéve n.s. 2, 17: 130. 1838. This document includes keys to species of Tabebuia in the Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana based on flowering and vegetative characteristics. (Missouri Botanical Garden)
Taxonomic Revisions in the Polyphyletic Genus Tabebuia s. l. (Bignoniaceae) The 2007 paper proposing the change from Tabebuia to Handroanthus (PDF)


Cultivar selection and breeding

The Genus Tabebuia (Discusses Florida a hybrid) Gardening in the Coastal Southeast
More on Tabebuias Describes some of the variation amongst cultivated Tabebuias in California and the seedling selection being undertaken by Monterey Bay Nursery


Additional Information

Including other species

Some of the species referred to in the following publications are cultivated in various parts of the world, but not widely available in Australia
Purple and Golden Tabebuia - Trumpet Trees Article about Tabebuias. Charlotte County Cooperative Extension Service, Florida (Word document)
Arvores do Brasil Mostly in Portugese, but plants are identified by scientific name. Go to (Lista cientif) so you can view the photographs of several Tabebuia species.
Campus Plants - Page 24 Photographs of a number of Tabebuia species, University of Hawaii
Hispaniolan Rosy Trumpet Tree Tabebuia berteroi Flowers of India
Some Streets Really Are Lined with Gold (Tabebuia donnell-smithii) Post at Hawaii Horticulture (blog)
Tabebuia donnell-smithii Rose (in Spanish) United States Dept Agriculture Forest Service, USA (PDF)
Tabebuia donnell-smithii AgroForestryTree Database
Tabebuia donnell-smithii (Bignoniaceae) National Tropical Botanical Garden, USA
Tabebuia haemantha (Bertol. ex Spreng.) DC. United States Dept Agriculture Forest Service, USA (PDF)
Tabebuia heptaphylla Pink Trumpet Tree. University of Florida (PDF)
Pink Trumpet Tree Handroanthus heptaphyllus Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute, California
Handroanthus heptaphyllus - The Correct Name for the Pink Trumpet Tree in Southern California Useful information on how to tell the difference between H. heptaphyllus and H. impetiginosus. Hodel Palms and Trees, Univ. California
Tabebuia ochracea (Cham.) Standley Especies de Costa Rica
White Trumpet Tree Tabebuia roseo-alba Flowers of India
Tabebuia serratifolia AgroForestryTree Database
Tabebuia serratifolia (Bignoniaceae) National Tropical Botanical Garden, USA
Tabebuia guayacán as Part of the Ipe (or Lapacho) Group Mostly discusses the timber produced from this species. Finca Leola Costa Rica Reforestation
Tabebuia guayacan (Seem.) Hemsl. Especies de Costa Rica
Ipê (Tabebuia spp.) (Rainforest Wood - What to Avoid/What to Choose) Rainforest Relief
Ipê (Tabebuia spp.) Discusses overharvesting of these timbers in their native habitat. Rainforest Alliance

Possible misspellings: Tabebuea, Tabibuia, Tabibuea



More Pictures


Tabebuia impetiginosa street tree Tabebuia impetiginosa flowers
Tabebuia impetiginosa flower cluster Tabebuia impetiginosa leaves
[Click for larger image] Street tree in Rocklea, Brisbane (September 2015) tentatively identified as Handroanthus impetiginosus (Tabebuia impetiginosa synonym Tabebuia palmeri)

Tabebuia unknown species Tabebuia unknown species flowers
Tabebuia unknown species leaves Tabebuia unknown species fallen flowers
Unknown species. Flowering is sparse, at least at this stage. Sunnybank, Brisbane. Late July, 2016

Tabebuia unknown2 street tree Tabebuia unknown2 flowers
Tabebuia unknown2 flower cluster
Another unknown species. Perhaps a variety of T. rosea? Amount of wine-purple colouration in the blossoms varies. September, 2016
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Zanui Zanui
Tabebuia

Yellow flowered Tabebuia (T. chrysotricha?) growing as a street tree in Brisbane

Tabebuia

(NB: Foliage in the background belongs to another, different tree)

Tabebuia

Calyx detail

Tabebuia August 2012

In August, old foliage is deteriorating

Tabebuia September 2012

By September, foliage has fallen and flowers are emerging. Signs of new foliage.

Tabebuia October 2012

In October, flowering has finished and new foliage has developed. Detail in inset. Also, note seed pod


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