By David Gennaro, Managing Director, Grounds
Have you noticed the spectacular, golden yellow or pink trees in bloom around town and on East and West Campuses? The trees that have caught your eye are probably the Tabebuia (pronounced Tab-bay-boo-ya) trees. Say that three times fast.
They are fast-growing, medium-sized, tropical, deciduous trees that display their blooms in late winter prior to producing new leaves. The blooms provide a relatively brief show, lasting between three to four weeks from mid-February through March. And on our campuses, they are just past peak bloom, but they are still quite evident in our landscape.
There are several species of yellow or golden blooming trees, including T. caraiba, T. chrysotricha and T. umbellata — also known as Silver, Gold or Yellow Trumpet Tree. The pink, blooming tree offers several species for this area including T. heterophylla and T. impetiginosa or Pink and Purple Trumpet Tree.
Tabebuias are hardy in USDA Zones 9 – 11, which includes Central Florida. Because the trees are tropical, they can be damaged by sustained freezing weather. Other than that, they are relatively maintenance-free, requiring minimal water or fertilizer. They will take some shade, but prefer full sun for more profuse flowering.
Once established, they are drought and seaside resistant (meaning they will hold up to some sea salt spray found along coastal areas). So, when you see these trees in bloom, know that spring is not far off and those hot, sticky Florida summers are right around the corner.