Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Spectacular Pink Tabebuia

In 1999, I planted two pink Tabebuia trees at Rabbit Hill Gardens, one by the herb shop and one out by the street. For the last several years, the one at the front of the shop has been blossoming spectacularly but the one by the street has only had a few easy-to-overlook flowers. Well, this year the street specimen has redeemed itself. In clear view as you drive around the curve on 19-A, this tree has lost every leaf and is solidly covered in gorgeous pink trumpet flowers in a beautiful round form.

In full flower, Tabebuia trees are surely some of the most beautiful trees in Florida. Several yellow Tabs are seen around Mount Dora and there are probably other pink Tabs but I haven't seen any. Tabebuias belong to the Bignoniaceae family of which another spectacular tree, the purple Jacaranda, belongs. The pink Tabebuia is a much smaller tree than the Jacaranda and both could be damaged if we have a hard freeze into the teens or below. Several vines with very colorful trumpet-shaped flowers also belong to the Bignoniaceae family, with common names like trumpet-, bower-, cross-, or flame-vine.

I went back to the grower where I had gotten my Tabs and was able to find some for the nursery. He is only just now beginning to have Tabs available after being devestated by the hurricanes two years ago. We have a few small trees for sale in 3 gallon size. Tabebuias need to be staked to keep the growth upright and should be pruned to allow just one trunk.

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