Common name:Yellow bells
Scientific name:Tecoma stans
Alternative common names:
Yellow elder, ginger-thomas, yellow trumpet bush (English); geelklokkies (Afrikaans); insimbephuzi (isiZulu)
Ornamental, densely leafy evergreen shrub or small tree up to 4m high. Leaves are bright green above, paler below, with sharply toothed margins. Bright yellow, showy, trumpet-shaped flowers in terminal sprays from October to May. Brown, shiny fruit capsules 12-20cm long that split open to release papery winged seeds.
Where does this species come from?Mexico and Texas, Arizona and New Mexico in the United States.
What is its invasive status in South Africa?Existing legislation: CARA 2002 – Category 1 NEMBA – Category 1b
Where in South Africa is it a problem?Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Limpopo Provinces.
How does it spread?Seed dispersal.
Why is it a problem?Competes with and has the potential to replace indigenous species. Can invade hot and dry savanna where it may reduce grazing for domestic and wild animals.
What does it look like?General description: Evergreen shrub or small tree growing up to 4m high. Leaves: Leaves are bright green above, paler below, with sharply toothed margins Flowers: Bright yellow, showy, trumpet-shaped flowers in terminal sprays from October to May. Fruit/seeds: Brown, shiny fruit capsules 12-20cm long that split open to release papery winged seeds.
Does the plant have any uses?Ornamental.
Plant me instead alternatives
Cape honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis), yellow bauhinia (Bauhinia tomentosa), weeping wattle (Peltophorum africanum).