If there is enough space available in the garden for trees, go for Tabebuias that give out bunches of flowers.

Green enthusiasts are invariably excited when their greens are broken by even a pinch of floral splendour. Any little bud peeping out to throw its petals into a beautiful blossom is enough to make their day. What if they are showered with a bonanza of colourful inflorescence all of a sudden? What if they find their courtyard coming alive with an invasion of exquisite floral decorations made by none other than Mother Nature? It simply means that Tabebuias are at work.

When enough space is available in a garden for trees that give out burgeoning masses of flowering, the first choice would be Tabebuias. So spectacular they are that passers-by would never fail to notice them when their floral display is on.

Known for the enthralling colours of trumpet-shaped blossoms which hang from the tips of the branches in attractive clusters, Tabebuias are popular and low-maintenance ornamental trees.

The genus Tabebuia, from taxonomic family Bignoniaceae, includes some 100 species, and traces its origin to Central to South America. Tabebuias are hardy, deciduous to semi-evergreen flowering trees grown in warm regions throughout the world.

0About a dozen species of Tabebuia are grown in Indian gardens.

Characteristics

The leaves are light green, in opposite pairs, compound or palmately compound with three to seven leaflets. Flowers are produced in dense clusters. Their colours vary among species, ranging from light pink to lavender, and white to bright yellow.

Blossoms appear from spring to monsoon depending on the species.

For most species, the flowering period is only two to three weeks, whereas some species show intermittent blooms almost throughout the year, altogether offering the widest landscape utility.

Added to this, they are fast growing and most of them start flowering very young — even from the stage of one-year seedling.

For many of the species, leaves drop just before blooming, offering a splendid view of the tree-bearing flowers alone, making them more conspicuous.

Flowers attract bees which help in pollination.

Tabebuia species hybridise quite freely and much confusion prevails over the status of various species. Hence many species of this genus are under taxonomic review.

The fruit is a long dehiscent pod, containing numerous compressed and papery winged seeds.

The silvery bark of Tabebuia aurea becomes corky with age, displaying attractive designs of deep, uneven, longitudinal furrows. The trunk and branches of this species grow in an asymmetrical form.

Gardening

Tabebuias are widely used as ornamental trees in gardens due to their impressive, colourful flowering. They can be planted in groups or along the paths.

Their relatively small stature makes Tabebuias ideal for residential gardens.

Tabebuias require full sun exposure and rich, well-drained soil.

Some of the hardy species like Tabebuia aurea can come up in rocky soils.

Some species such as Tabebuia heterophylla and Tabebuia rosea can withstand inundation for extended periods without damage.

Many of the Tabebuia species are salt tolerant and suitable for planting along sea-shores.

Easy care

Tabebuias are easy-care plants and once established they grow without many problems. Provide the tree with sufficient irrigation each week during non-rainy months.

Allow the top soil to dry between two waterings. Like many other trees,

Tabebuias require less irrigation during winter when they are not actively growing.

Drooping or low-hanging branches should be pruned to have a good crown.

Also, the diseased, damaged or dead branches should be removed from the tree at any time of the year.

In poor soils, Tabebuias require supplemental fertilizers to facilitate healthier growth and good flowering. Apply the first fertilizer in the early spring, as soon as new growth is observed and the second fertilizer during the first monsoon.

Tabebuia trees are generally not susceptible to serious pest problems or diseases if grown under good light and in well-drained soils.

They all can be propagated easily from fresh seeds.