Sunday, January 2, 2011

Yellow Bells

Now that the weather has grown cold it is time for some summer memories of warmth and bright flowers. One of my favorite tropical plants is yellow bells (Tecoma stans)! This is one of the easiest plants to grow and gives so much for so little work.

Yellow bells have a cluster of one to two inch lemon yellow trumpets at the top of the stem. My plants always freeze to the ground but by Memorial Day are 2' tall and beginning to bloom. The blooming season last till the first killing frost and I then cut them down.

I must let you know they grow fast and get 6' to 7' tall! The common type from the wet tropics grow a number of tall stems that are wands capped with flowers. A more refined look is the desert variety Tecoma stans angustifolia. This type has smaller flower clusters but the plant is bushier and each stem branches more often for a fuller look. The leaves are much finer cut and shinier making the plant more garden worthy than the tropical type. Best of all it is less likely to set seed and thus is not loaded with 6" bean pods by the hundreds.

The picture is of the desert yellow bell!

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