Summary details for Tecoma stans

Yellow bells

Tecoma stans

Common names: Yellow bells, Trumpet bush, Yellow elder (E)

Origin: Tropical North America

Description

Multistemmed evergreen shrub, usually up to 4 m high, sometimes bigger.  Leaves compound; leaflets ovate, tapering to rounded point, soft, smooth, bright green; margins toothed or scalloped. Flowers carried in dense, drooping sprays at branch tips, bright yellow, trumpet-shaped. Fruit bean-like, long and narrow. Seeds small, winged.

Discussion

Introduced as an ornamental in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, this is a fast-growing, relatively drought-resistant and frost-resistant species that readily invades road verges, forest margins and river banks. It forms dense stands, produces masses of seed, and out-competes natural vegetation, reducing biodiversity in the process. It is a Category 1 weed that is required to be controlled and eradicated in South Africa.

This species is found as an invasive in and around Windhoek, Grootfontein and Tsumeb, as well as having been observed along the Kwando River.

Honeybees visit Tecoma readily, but the honey so produced is poisonous.

Tecoma stans
Tecoma stans © Photo: Coleen Mannheimer
Tecoma stans
Tecoma stans © Photo: Coleen Mannheimer