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Publication #ENH-774

Tabebuia heterophylla: Pink Trumpet Tree1

Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson2


Pink trumpet tree grows at a moderate rate from a slim pyramid when young to a broad silhouette, 20 to 40 feet tall. The palmately compound, green leaves are evergreen throughout most of its range but may be briefly deciduous as the new leaves emerge. The showy display of pink or white, bell-shaped blooms appears throughout the spring and summer and is followed by the production of long, slender seedpods.

Figure 1. 

Young Tabebuia heterophylla: pink trumpet tree


Ed Gilman, UF/IFAS

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

General Information

Scientific name: Tabebuia heterophylla
Pronunciation: tab-eh-BOO-yuh het-er-oh-FILL-uh
Common name(s): Pink trumpet tree
Family: Bignoniaceae
USDA hardiness zones: 10A through 11 (Fig. 2)
Origin: not native to North America
Invasive potential:has been evaluated using the UF/IFAS Assessment of the Status of Non-Native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas (Fox et al. 2005). This species is not documented in any undisturbed natural areas in Florida. Thus, it is not considered a problem species and may be used in Florida.
Uses: specimen; street without sidewalk; deck or patio; parking lot island < 100 sq ft; parking lot island < 100 sq ft; parking lot island 100–200 sq ft; parking lot island > 200 sq ft; tree lawn 4–6 feet wide; tree lawn 3–4 feet wide; tree lawn > 6 ft wide; urban tolerant; highway median
Availability: not native to North America

Figure 2. 


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]


Height: 20 to 30 feet
Spread: 15 to 25 feet
Crown uniformity: irregular
Crown shape: oval
Crown density: open
Growth rate: moderate
Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite (Fig. 3)
Leaf type: palmately compound
Leaf margin: entire, undulate
Leaf shape: oblong, elliptic (oval)
Leaf venation: pinnate
Leaf type and persistence: evergreen, semi-evergreen
Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: no color change
Fall characteristic: not showy

Figure 3. 


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]


Flower color: pink, white/cream/gray
Flower characteristics: very showy


Fruit shape: pod or pod-like, elongated
Fruit length: 3 to 6 inches, 6 to 12 inches
Fruit covering: dry or hard
Fruit color: brown
Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches don't droop; not showy; typically one trunk; thorns
Pruning requirement: needed for strong structure
Breakage: susceptible to breakage
Current year twig color: brown
Current year twig thickness: medium
Wood specific gravity: 0.55


Light requirement: full sun
Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; alkaline; acidic; well-drained
Drought tolerance: high
Aerosol salt tolerance: moderate


Roots: not a problem
Winter interest: no
Outstanding tree: yes
Ozone sensitivity: unknown
Verticillium wilt susceptibility: unknown
Pest resistance: free of serious pests and diseases

Use and Management

Pink trumpet tree is well suited for use as a street tree or for other areas such as in parking lot islands and buffer strips where temperatures are high and soil space limited. They will create a canopy over a sidewalk when planted on 25 to 30 foot centers if they are properly pruned. Develop high, arching branches several years after planting by removing the lower, drooping branches. This branching habit may take several prunings to accomplish. Pink trumpet tree can also be used as a shade tree for a residential property near the patio or deck, or it can be planted to provide shade to the driveway. The tree will provide lasting shade plus the added benefit of a sensational seasonal color show.

Pink trumpet tree should be grown in full sun on almost any well-drained soil, wet or dry. Established trees are moderately salt-tolerant and highly drought-tolerant. This tree is reported to be more tolerant of urban conditions than the yellow trumpet tree.

Propagation is by seed or by vegetative methods. Vegetatively propagated trees would help ensure that trees bloom at the same time. Seed propagated trees flower at different times.

Pests and Diseases

No pests or diseases are of major concern.

Literature Cited

Fox, A.M., D.R. Gordon, J.A. Dusky, L. Tyson, and R.K. Stocker (2005) UF/IFAS Assessment of the Status of Non-Native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas. Cited from the Internet (November 3, 2006),



This document is ENH-774, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Revised March 2007. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at


Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; and Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Agricultural Engineering Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.