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Publication #ENH-774

Tabebuia heterophylla: Pink Trumpet Tree1

Edward F. Gilman, Dennis G. Watson, Ryan W. Klein, Andrew K. Koeser, Deborah R. Hilbert, and Drew C. McLean2

Introduction

Pink trumpet tree grows at a moderate rate from a slim pyramid when young to a broad silhouette, 20 to 30 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. 

Full Form—Tabebuia heterophylla: Pink trumpet tree


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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 (Figure 2)

Origin: native to Puerto Rico and the West Indies

UF/IFAS Invasive Assessment Status: not considered a problem species at this time, may be recommended

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

Figure 2. 

Range


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Description

Height: 20 to 30 feet

Spread: 15 to 25 feet

Crown uniformity: irregular

Crown shape: oval

Crown density: open

Growth rate: moderate

Texture: medium

Foliage

Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite

Leaf type: palmately compound; made up of 5 or fewer leaflets

Leaf margin: entire, undulate

Leaf shape: oblong, elliptic (oval)

Leaf venation: pinnate

Leaf type and persistence: evergreen, semi-evergreen

Leaf blade length: 6 to 12 inches; leaflets 2 to 6 inches

Leaf color: medium green on top, lighter green underneath

Fall color: no color change

Fall characteristic: not showy

Figure 3. 

Leaf—Tabebuia heterophylla: Pink trumpet tree


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Flower

Flower color: pink, white/cream/gray

Flower characteristics: very showy; trumpet-shaped and emerges in clusters at the ends of branches

Flowering: spring and summer

Figure 4. 

Flower—Tabebuia heterophylla: Pink trumpet tree


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Fruit

Fruit shape: pod or pod-like, elongated

Fruit length: 3 to 12 inches

Fruit covering: dry or hard

Fruit color: brown

Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem

Fruiting: shortly after flowering

Figure 5. 

Fruit—Tabebuia heterophylla: Pink trumpet tree


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Trunk and Branches

Trunk/branches: branches don't droop; not showy; typically one trunk; no thorns

Bark: silvery gray and smooth, becoming scaly with age

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

Figure 6. 

Bark—Tabebuia heterophylla: Pink trumpet tree


Credit:

Gitta Hasing


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Culture

Light requirement: full sun

Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; alkaline; acidic; well-drained

Drought tolerance: high

Aerosol salt tolerance: moderate

Other

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 pruning’s 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.

References

Koeser, A. K., Hasing, G., Friedman, M. H., and Irving, R. B. 2015. Trees: North & Central Florida. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Koeser, A.K., Friedman, M.H., Hasing, G., Finley, H., Schelb, J. 2017. Trees: South Florida and the Keys. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Footnotes

1.

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 and December 2018. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for the currently supported version of this publication.

2.

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus, Environmental Horticulture Department; Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Agricultural Engineering Department; Ryan W. Klein, graduate assistant, Environmental Horticulture Department; Andrew K. Koeser, assistant professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center; Deborah R. Hilbert, graduate assistant, Environmental Horticulture Department, GCREC; and Drew C. McLean, biological scientist, Environmental Horticulture Department, GCREC; 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.