T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Tecoma capensis (Cape honeysuckle)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Bignoniaceae
Genus: Tecoma
Species: T. capensis
Binomial name: Tecoma capensis
Synonyms: Bignonia capensis, Tecomaria capensis, Tecoma petersii.
Common name: Cape honeysuckle

Tecoma capensis is a semi-erect, partially scandent, flowering, shrub species native to southern Africa. It grows to 2–4 m in height. Normally it is evergreen, it may lose its leaves in colder climates. In certain habitats it may scramble by shooting out long growth tips which lean on the stems and branches of other plants, as well as boulders, trellises, fences and walls.
It has a many flowered terminal raceme with orange-red tubular flowers that are about 7.5 cm long. They are a deep yellow inside the tube.
The leaves are opposite, slightly serrated and are up to 15 cm long. They are green to dark-green in colour and are pinnate with 5 to 9 oblong leaflets.
Dispersal is by seeds from its 6 cm long, flattened, and leathery capsules.

In New Zealand Tecoma capensis in some areas is classed as a weed due to its scrambling habit. It is found in the warmer areas of New Zealand were it is a common hedge plant. Wild plants can form dense thickets that smother other plants.