Friday, February 26, 2016

Pink (Lavender) Trumpet Tree


Formerly Tabebuia impetiginosa , now Handroanthus impetiginosus, aka Lavender Trumpet Tree, (Lavender?!?) aka Pink Ipê.  Tree of several names.  For a few weeks in late winter, breathtaking.

In leaf, or in winter leafless--I can't say I ever notice them.  Slow growing, open habit.  They do well as street trees surrounded by concrete, because they like warmth. 
 Native to a wide range--from northern Mexico to northern Argentina.  Hardy to about 20-25F (-6 C to -4 C).  It is a source of Ipê wood, a very hard, weather resistant wood that recently became popular for use as decking and fencing.  Unfortunately the popularity of this wood has contributed to deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.
 In Southern California they grow to about 25';  in their native range, eventually to 50'. 
 There's also a species with intensely yellow flowers, H. chrysotrichus.

Quite a show of pink.  A substitute for flowering Cherry in our climate, which is difficult for a flowering Cherry.  I intend to remember to see what they look like out of flower. 

11 comments:

  1. I never knew until now that where Ipe wood comes looks that good, very ornamental. Quite known here too as a good decking material,miss what we used on our koi pond area.

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    1. Several species in the genus supply the wood. I think I've seen it here and there as fencing; quite good looking. Alas the environmental price to be paid. :(

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  2. Very pretty. I can see their resemblance to flowering cherry, which are everywhere here. Pink trumpet tree probably isn't hardy enough for here, but those flowers are beautiful.

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    1. My theory that there are similar ornamental plants ideal for all climates--just have to learn which ones they are!

      Traffic stoppers, for sure.

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  3. These name changes crack me up. Remember when we were always rebuked to steer clear of common names and use only botanical Latin? With these constant name changes, it's the common names that are most helpful to me now. Who could forget Pink Ipe?

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    1. Yep! I like the botanical names a lot, though. Exotic jumble of syllables with meaning, a poem in one word.

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  4. Oh, please spare me from botanists who can't keep from renaming stuff all the time! I have to identify this tree regularly for out-of-town tourists who take Pasadena Heritage bus tours and now I have to memorize yet another name...

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    1. All the names could make for a hilarious tour guide story, though, maybe? I didn't even get to all the names: "it has a range of local names ipê-cavatã, ipê-comum, ipê-reto, ipê-rosa, ipê-roxo-damata, lapacho negro, pau d'arco-roxo, peúva or piúva."

      Botanical nomenclaturists need jobs, I guess. Me, I just like the pretty flowers.

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    2. Good grief, it used to be in Tecoma, too!

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  5. I think you solved a mystery for me. There is a row of street trees along my regular route to the freeway that burst into bloom every year at this time and, based on an on-line search, I'm now almost positive they must be the yellow form of this tree. I've been meaning to stop to take photos but somehow that never seems practical when I'm in a rush to get onto the freeway and to my destination. It's funny but I also can't think of what the tree looks like when leaves replace the flowers. I, too, shall have to pay attention!

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    1. The yellow version is a searing yellow in full sun--quite stunning! Thanks, so happy to know I'm not the only one who can't recall them out of flower.

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