Tecoma aff. alata
While we were in the area known as Cabra Corral in Salta Province, Argentina, we ran across this Tecoma species in seed. The small compact plants at 3' x 3" were growing at the base of rocky, dry slopes and hills so we could not tell if the plants we found were stunted by environmental conditions or if they were naturally compact. The Tecoma alata, (syn. T elata and T. sp ‘Orange Jubilee’) listed in internet search results often grow into moderate sized open shrubs to 5’ x 5’ and have similar flowers to the seedlings we are growing. I am not exactly sure what this plant is, so I am listing it as an affinity to Tecoma alata, at least for the moment. The seedings from this collection have begun to bloom after only reaching 8 inches in height. The tubular flowers, shaped like flaring trumpets, occur in nodding clusters and start out a light orange color but age to a reddish orange before finishing their floral duties. This plant will be an experiment for all that choose to trial it. Ultimate height, cold hardiness and other attributes will be learned along the way but to the adventurous souls that choose to grow this plant the knowledge gained could be golden.
Tips: This plant comes from a semi-arid area and once established is very drought tolerant in deep rich soils but needs consistent early irrigation to get the plant off to a good start.