Friday, July 9, 2010

Tabebuia impetiginosa - the Dwarf Pink Trumpet Tree

One of the most spectacular trees that blooms during our tropical winter here is the Tabebuia impetiginosa ... previously known as Tabebuia ipe ... or what we commonly call the 'Dwarf Pink Trumpet Tree'.

Now don't be fooled ... even though it's known as a dwarf it can grow to 25 feet with a rather large canopy. It's a beautiful tree in many ways.  First, there's the light grey bark and smooth dark green leaves.

Then there are the 2-3 inch long lavender-pink flowers with yellow centres which appear in clusters in mid-Winter. 

There is such a distinct contrast between the pink of the petal lobes and the yellow throat when the flowers first open ... but then the throat tends to become pink with age. 

Just as these gorgeous blooms start appearing, the tree will start dropping it's leaves ... and then there's the sight of the bare branches completely covered in pretty frilly pink blooms with a carpet of pink on the ground.

The photo below shows my very tall Tabebuia impetiginosa just coming into bloom now ... with the contrasting Bauhinia ... another fabulous winter bloomer ... showing off it's stunning white flowers on almost completely leafless branches.  I love this sight as I drive into the property at this time of year.

The Dwarf Pink Trumpet Tree is just such a fabulous choice for a hot, dry climate as it is not only highly drought tolerant, loves full sun and will thrive in almost any type of soil ... it's also simply gorgeous.


  1. That is a gorgeous sight to greet you! Beautiful flowers and wonderful tree, though it hardly looks dwarf to me! These are common sights in late winter here in Florida as well, both the pink tab and the orchid tree. So strange to see them blooming in someone's garden right now....

  2. What a gorgeous tree Bernie! The masses of pink flowers are quite stunning!

  3. I love large masses of flowers on a tree like that (and cassia fistula too). It really makes the tree stand out from the others.

  4. Bernie what a sight each time you arrive home. The tree blossom is so beautiful.

    Do you get autumnal colours in the leaves of your trees before they drop them in the winter?

  5. Thanks Floridagirl ... no it's not quite what I would call 'dwarf' either. However my other Tabebuia ... Tabebuia heterophylla ... is well over 30 feet tall, so I guess it's all relative!

    Thanks Clare ... the blooms really are a lovely sight.

    Aaron ... yes I have to agree with you. I love the trees here when they're covered in blooms ... I have a Cassia and it's superb when in bloom.

    Rosie ... no there are no autumnal colours. The closest we get to that is the changing colours of the dying leaves on the Lagerstroemia speciosa ... that's coming later in the winter.

  6. Wow it beautiful and I've not heard of that tree before. I wish I had when I was planting trees in my garden. No room now.

  7. It's a beautiful tree Bernie! Nice to have this tree in the garden. Love the angle of your last photo. Oh, the tree is tall for a dwarf he he...

  8. Thanks Diane for visiting ... I think your garden looks wonderful enough even if you can't fit this beauty in! It's not exactly what I would call a 'dwarf'!

    Steph ... I have to agree. If this is a 'dwarf', I'd hate to think how tall a tree would have to be to be classed as a 'giant'! Thanks for your visit.

  9. Another impressive blog from Australia...Titania is the other..Congratulations..Ill be back.

  10. I took a recommendation to plant my dwarf pink tabebuia eight years ago from a local nusery in San Diego California. The first five years, no blooms and much disappointment. Then slowly each year a few more blooms; this year a grand carpet of color, absolutely beautiful!!! I plan to relocate to Texas and I am most sad to leave this tree. There are two suckers growing and I am convinced that I can transplant them to a pot to relocate to the Lone Star State. Has anyone done this before? Any help or direction would be appreciated. Many thanks, Displaced Texan

  11. Displaced Texan ... I know the Tabebuia will flourish in USDA Zones 10 and 11 ... they love heat and sun and don't like temps that get below 24 degF.

    This tree doesn't survive frost very well either ... so it would depend on which part of Texas you're moving back to.

    However, it's always worth a try if you love the tree ... pot up the suckers ... or maybe collect some seed and give it a go.

  12. We planted one 6wks ago, about 9ft. tall, nursery said it had had some blooms already. We're watering every other day. Told to use granular 6-6-6 or 8-8-8 fertilizer. WHEN do you think it best to first fertilize? 6wks? 6mos? (received both recommendations, but would like the best...the tree was dedicated to those we loved & will have a plaque near-by...this condo suffered many "losses" this year of dear-ones.
    Reply to: please?


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