Tecomaria capensis

Botanical Name: Tecomaria  capensis (Thunb.) Spach

Synonym:                       Tecoma capensis (Thunb) Lindley

Common Name:          Cape Honeysuckle

Plant Family:                Bignoniaceae

Origin:                             Southern Africa

References:                   Joffe p.210, Coates Palgrave p.1007, Venter p.58. S.A. No. 673.1, Zimb. No. -.

Description:  A straggly many stemmed semi woody evergreen shrub which climbs all over itself, spreading by using its side branches which take root expanding the colony. A plant of evergreen forest and streams. There are many different color variants (pale pink salon, dark fiery red), which have a more compact and less straggly growth. The most common orange variant is fast growing about 1m per annum and flowers most of the year if watered. The T. lutea is more compact and bears lemon yellow flowers.

Features of Particular Interest:  Bright orange, yellow or salmon pink tubular and asymmetrical flowers. It flowers nearly all the year but mostly spring and summer, but ours has flowered all through the winter. It has glossy leaves.

Height and Spread:  3m x 5m.

Periods of Interest:

Leaf:  All year round.

Flowering:  All year round.

Fruiting:  October to March.


Soil and Moisture:  Requires some water for full impact. It should be planted in the full sun, and is hardy but may become deciduous in harsh conditions.

Aspect:  Prefers open, sunny sites.

Hardiness:  Fairly hardy but prefers damp conditions.

Maintenance and Pruning:  Must be pruned several times a year and cut right back every two years when older. Pruning stimulates flowering.

Propagation:  Easily from seed easily or hard wood cutting in the spring.

Problems and Drawbacks:  It can become untidy if not clipped.

Use and Associated Planting:  T. capensis is a very ornamental plant. It is excellent for hedging if kept cut, and screening on boundaries.  Also for stabilizing steep banks, the sprawling T. capensis is attractive and effective (e.g. on edge of roads). Useful in the shrubbery and as a background plant. Does not have an aggressive root system.

Notes: Attracts sunbirds, the darker the red of the flowers the more sun bids it attracts.