Tecoma Species, Esperanza, Ginger-Thomas, Yellow Bells, Yellow Elder, Yellow Trumpetbush

Tecoma stans

Family: Bignoniaceae (big-no-nih-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tecoma (tek-OH-muh) (Info)
Species: stans (stanz) (Info)
Synonym:Stenolobium stans
View this plant in a garden



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

Medium Green


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual



Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Under 1"


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Dothan, Alabama

Orange Beach, Alabama

Buckeye, Arizona

Chandler, Arizona

Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Maricopa, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona

Paradise Valley, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Queen Creek, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona(2 reports)

Tucson, Arizona

Yuma, Arizona

Clayton, California

El Cajon, California

Fairfield, California

Fresno, California

Granite Hills, California

Harbison Canyon, California

Long Beach, California

Palm Desert, California

Rancho San Diego, California

Rosamond, California

San Leandro, California

Valley Center, California

Bartow, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Bushnell, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Delray Beach, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

Gainesville, Florida(2 reports)

Hollywood, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida(2 reports)

Kissimmee, Florida(2 reports)

Mc Intosh, Florida

Merritt Island, Florida

Miami, Florida

New Port Richey, Florida

Odessa, Florida

Palm Harbor, Florida

Plant City, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida(2 reports)

Port Saint Lucie, Florida(2 reports)

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Sebastian, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Savannah, Georgia

Derby, Kansas

New Iberia, Louisiana

Oberlin, Louisiana

Youngsville, Louisiana

Las Vegas, Nevada(2 reports)

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Elephant Butte, New Mexico

Greensboro, North Carolina

Enid, Oklahoma

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Charleston, South Carolina

Abilene, Texas

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas(3 reports)

Bedford, Texas

Brownsville, Texas

Carrollton, Texas

Colmesneil, Texas

Conroe, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

Crawford, Texas

El Paso, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas(2 reports)

Georgetown, Texas

Gillett, Texas

Houston, Texas(5 reports)

Kingsland, Texas

League City, Texas

Mcallen, Texas

Midland, Texas

Richmond, Texas

San Antonio, Texas(3 reports)

San Benito, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

Schulenburg, Texas

South Padre Island, Texas

Temple, Texas

Tomball, Texas

Christiansted, Virgin Islands

Elkhorn, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 9, 2021, Theropod from Sydney,
Australia (Zone 10b) wrote:

I got snipped around 7 cuttings of a small tree in a nearby park and I couldn't believe that 5 rooted so quickly (in soil) with leaf growth. This is such a beautiful plant and I'm glad that nice large flowering shrubs like these are root so quickly. So a positive review just for that.


On Oct 23, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A beautiful, generally trouble-free flowering landscape shrub/tree.

Flower color is usually yellow but can be orange to red, and there are now cultivars and hybrids selected in a variety of colors within this range.

This species is considered invasive in south Florida and Hawaii, and in New Caledonia.


On Jan 11, 2016, edinanmn from Paradise Valley, AZ wrote:

My mid century house in Paradise Valley, AZ came with 3 mature Yellow Bells shrubs in the back yard. Don't require regular irrigation. Grow like weeds during the spring and summer. Bloom for a long season but are the first to freeze when the temps drop below 40 degrees F. Requires cutting back to thick branches at base, months of ugly and then they bloom again. The volume of browned out plant material which needs to be trimmed and removed every season is substantial. Calling them leggy would be an understatement. Birds and bunnies enjoy the flowers and cover.


On Jan 11, 2016, florafavours from Elkhorn, WI wrote:

Been growing this plant for years as a potted plant. Needed a pretty big pot-2-3 gallon- but makes it through Winter near a basement window where it reaches 40's at night. Once outside after frost ends, it breaks out into new growth and blooms at least 1 long period every year.Have cut it back very hard occasionally and that doesn't bother it.


On Aug 19, 2015, Sepi from Mantsala/Helsinki,
Finland wrote:

Greetings from Finland!

I fell in love with this plant Yellow Bells in the Canary Islands.
I collected a few seeds from Lanzarote, Canary Island in last winter and I put them into soil here in Finland. Now they grow very well and are now in the summer in outdoors. Now I hope that will survive over the winter inside, because here in Northern Scandinavia has a long dark winter. A few other Canary plant has survived over the winter and bloomed here during the summer months.



On Apr 1, 2015, DesertBoy from Palm Desert, CA wrote:

This plant is all over the desert here in California. Just bought it to shade an established Sago that lost its natural shade.


On Aug 20, 2014, yrrej from El Paso, TX wrote:

Tecoma stans occurs naturally on rocky foothills in the mountains here in El Paso where it forms a small bush covered with yellow flowers from the middle summer until fall. It is very attractive, as well as xeric. The drawback is the plant dies down to the ground in winter (our temps drop as low as 0 degrees very rarely, and usually into the teens for a few days on a yearly basis) and requires until June or thereabouts to grow big enough to flower again. It therefore doesn't make a good stand-alone plant, as it requires waiting to be useful aesthetically. There are many commercial varieties which tend to be tall and narrow, often requiring support. Also not a good stand alone situation.


On Jul 2, 2012, malihai from Destrehan, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I just got this plant. Don't know much about it had a similar vine growing up with bigger flowers. Still in pot I will be planting it in the yard soon. Love the flowers they are so pretty. I loved reading about what everyone has written about this beautiful plant and flower.


On Apr 28, 2012, hellnzn11 from Rosamond, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I just received some seeds and will plant in a pot, so I can cut it back and bring it in over Winter. That said, it is so gorgeous and never stops blooming, takes easy water and hot days, bad soil. It just does not like long cold and wet winters. Great plant, long bloom season. My zone is 8b, hot, hot, cold, cold.


On Apr 23, 2012, blukila from Kamuela, HI wrote:

If there are others who live in Kamuela on the island of Hawaii there is a fine specimen of this small tree on Spencer Road in the middle of a private front yard.
It is the only one I have seen.


On Apr 23, 2012, sunnydaze45 from Mesa, AZ wrote:

This lovely plant seems to be really at home in my Mesa, AZ neighborhood. We've cut ours back to keep it on the smaller size, but it blooms around this time (April) and keeps blooming well into the fall. I just love it.


On Apr 23, 2012, kingmoose from Austin, TX wrote:

Tecoma Stans had a wide Natural range, and a few varieties. The native TX variety (Tecoma stans var. angustata) has more slender leaves, grows a little bit shorter and is much more drought-tolerant and cold-tolerant. I only lose a few inches @ the tips in the winter, so have stopped pruning it back to the ground. Look for an angustata variety for the same showy blooms but more drought and cold-tolerance.


On Apr 23, 2012, sukai from San Antonio Guadalupe,
Mexico wrote:

Here in Tucson, just a little lower than the native elevation for this plant, we expect the plant to go down to the ground completely in the winter if it gets cold or freezes. Pruning is simple--we either cut it to the ground or leave the sticks on through the winter and wait to see where they leaf out before pruning off the rest. Very drought tolerant, and will tolerate extra water to produce extra growth. Not picky about soils or exposures.


On Feb 10, 2012, TrotlineDesigns from Clewiston, FL wrote:

Starting from seed is pretty simple with this guy. I just toss half a dried bean in a pot and not long from then I have a few pop up, thin them out later and in no time (and I mean no time really, a few months) you have a small tree. They do great in pots and in the ground.
In under a year I had 2 - 8 foot trees. I have seen them in Alice, Tx. grow over 15 feet high so be aware of that if you plant them near your house as they have a pretty tough root system.


On May 30, 2011, cmooreblessed from Georgetown, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant does really well with little care or water once established. It seems to propogate very easily too. When pruning I accidentally left a peice on the ground in the flowerbed and I was pleasantly surprised to find it has become another plant with no help from me.


On Nov 20, 2010, debbee777 from Schulenburg, TX wrote:

I live on the line of zone 8-9 in Texas. My Esperanza Yellow Bells has done very well here. Beautiful plant. Hardy. However, last winter during a cold snap my cover blew off a large plant in the ground on the north side of the house and it froze back and did not come back. I have other plants however. My plants get very tall. It is difficult to cover them in winter. I think I need to prune them, but not sure. If anyone knows about pruning and winter care of these plants I'd like to hear. I'm not sure what variety I have.


On May 22, 2010, lizards_keep from Colmesneil, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

With two hummingbird feeders hanging over this bush its keep busy all summer with hummers, butterflies, and bees of all types.


On Aug 15, 2009, hmingbrd from Sebastian, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I love this plant! It has (so far) been trouble-free and thrives in our hot FL summer waether. The guy at the local nursery where I bought it told me to keep the seed pods clipped off to encourage new blooms.


On Jun 3, 2009, MBMom from Port Saint Lucie, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I started this plant from seeds I collected. The foliage is very attractive and the plant requires no special care. When Tecoma is in bloom its a head turner with bouquets of flowers that does not end. I have it right by my front door.


On Mar 26, 2009, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant; however, I have observed it growing in its native environment. Yellow Elder, Trumpet Bush, Yellow Bells, Ginger-Thomas, Esperanza (Tecoma stans) is native to Arizona, Florida, New Mexico, Texas, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It was introduced to Hawaii and has naturalized.


On Jan 25, 2009, steadycam3 from Houston Heights, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have 3 of these plants in my garden and am thinking of ways to use it more. It tolerates Houston's climate beautifully. There is one in the area between the side walk and the street in front of a restaurant growing in rocky, poor soil and no shade ever. I dont know if anyone ever waters it and it just looks glorious in the summer heat. I have seed for the orange variety and will root some seedlings to use in my garden along with the beautiful yellow ones. I grew all mine from seed and it was easy. A really wonderful plant. One of mine has an underplanting of bloodleaf, begonias and zinnias and the other 2 have under plantings of Plumbago.


On Mar 12, 2008, angele wrote:

Kept this plant in a pot last year and it bloomed beautifully. The hummingbirds loved it. I think I should have given it some winter protection. There are 3 seedlings that have sprouted in the pot. I hope they are the Yellow Bells. If I killed it off I plan on buying another.


On Nov 7, 2005, crowellli from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I've grown this plant for a number of years in Houston. It's has not only survived our high heat and humidy, but it's thrived! It grows to between 8 and 10 feet tall and blooms non-stop until frost, survives drought and has no pest problems. I have it underplanted with blue plumbago and next to a picotee Duranta and the colors look wonderful together.


On Oct 24, 2004, imway2dumb from Gordonville, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

Perfomed very well for me in a container. Attracted both hummers and butterflies. I had the cultivar Esperanza and have collected seeds for next year and for trade. Will have to figure out a way to overwinter the mother plant which should not be difficult in zone 7b.


On Sep 15, 2004, anomina from Bradenton, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

mine went into flower in the spring and has been flowering enthusiastically ever since and we are now in mid september. it requires no particular care, and no pests seem to inhabit it. it's not too big and not too small to have an impact. the perfect, beautiful, flowering plant. if you can accommodate it, i highly recomend it.

anomina in southwest florida


On Aug 9, 2004, Larabee from Houston, TX wrote:

This is a very showy plant, with clusters of vivid yellow flowers. In the summer, my esperanzas steal the thunder from all my other flowers. Have not had any problems with it at all.


On Feb 3, 2004, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This tree never grows very large, blooms all the year, and, if its not blooming, the bright green foliage will do it. Its a perfect tree for any tropical and subtropical yard.