It's Tecoma Time Again

Bright orange-red flowers surround the shiny green foliage of the Tecoma crowing over the timber arbour at Rouse Hill House and Farm

The bright orange-red flowers are perfectly accentuated by the glossy green foliage over the timber arbour. Photo Scott Hill © Sydney Living Museums

A little later than last year, though reliable as ever, the arbour at Rouse Hill is once again covered in the orange-red blooms of Tecoma capensis. This heritage staple flowers in mid-Autumn and can be used as a fantastic hedge when maintained. Commonly known as Cape Honeysuckle, it actually has no relation to true Honeysuckle; it is in fact in the same family (Bignoniaceae) as the Jacaranda and Pyrostegia(Flame vine). This can be seen in their similarly ‘trumpet’ shaped flowers.

Here at Rouse Hill the plants always seem happy and healthy with little intervention from the Gardens team, which demonstrates their hardiness considering the harsh conditions and sometimes lack of water at Rouse Hill. Over time, these scrambling shrubs have almost turned into small trees, growing a lot taller than any label on a Tecoma plant would usually estimate. The blooms this year and last year seemed to follow on from heavy rainfall; I’m not sure if this is standard for this plant or just coincidence.

close up image of the orange-red flowers of the tecoma

The large cluster of flowers are open and showing their long colourful stamens.

Photo Scott Hill © Sydney Living Museums

the bright orange-red flowers of the Tecoma appear over the top of the Bath House building at Rouse Hill House and Farm with contrasting foliage from the plum

The blooms can be spotted from many angles around the house, like past the Bath House

Photo Scott Hill © Sydney Living Musuems

the orange-red flowers of Tecoma capensis clash with the pink-purple from the bougainvillea

The Autumn colours of both the bougainvillea and the tecoma capensis

Photo Scott Hill © Sydney Living Museums

the foreground shows the red-orange blooms of the Tecoma capensis with the contrasting purple foliage of the purple plum tree.

Next to the Bathhouse the purple foliage of the Plum tree contrasts the orange-red of the Tecoma

Photo Scott Hill © Sydney Living Museums

About the author

Photograph of a man standing beside a garden shed

Steve Halliday

Horticulturist

Steven is one of the horticulturists who takes care of Sydney Living Museums’ green spaces and gardens.