The eye-catching Pink Trumpet Tabebuia heterophylla Tree grows at a reasonable rate from a slim pyramid when young to a broad silhouette, 20 to 40 feet tall. The palmately compound green leaves are evergreen throughout most of their 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.
Scientific name: Tabebuia heterophylla
Pronunciation: tab-eh-BOO-yuh het-er-oh-FILL-uh
Common name(s): Pink Trumpet Tree
USDA hardiness zones: 10 through 11
Origin: not native to North America
Uses: large parking lot islands (> 200 square feet in size); wide tree lawns (>6 feet wide); medium-sized parking lot islands (100-200 square feet in size); medium-sized tree lawns (4-6 feet wide); recommended for buffer strips around parking lots or for median strip plantings in the highway; near a deck or patio; small parking lot islands (< 100 square feet in size); narrow tree lawns (3-4 feet wide); specimen; residential street tree; the tree has been successfully grown in urban areas where air pollution, poor drainage, compacted soil, and/or drought are common
Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range.
Height: 20 to 30 feet
Spread: 15 to 25 feet
Crown uniformity: irregular outline or silhouette
Crown shape: oval
Crown density: open
Growth rate: medium
Leaf arrangement: opposite/sub-opposite
Leaf type: palmately compound
Leaflet margin: entire; undulate
Leaflet shape: elliptic (oval); oblong
Leaflet venation: pinnate
Leaf type and persistence: evergreen; semi-evergreen
Leaflet blade length: 2 to 4 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: no fall color change
Fall characteristic: not showy
Flower color: pink; white
Flower characteristics: spring-flowering; summer-flowering; very showy
Fruit shape: elongated; pod
Fruit length: 6 to 12 inches; 3 to 6 inches
Fruit covering: dry or hard
Fruit color: brown
Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; no significant litter problem; persistent on the tree; showy
Trunks and Branches
Trunk/bark/branches: grow mostly upright and will not droop; not particularly showy; should be grown with a single leader; no thorns.
Pruning requirement: requires pruning to develop a strong structure
Breakage: susceptible to breakage either at the crotch due to poor collar formation or because the wood itself is weak and tends to break.
Current year twig color: brown
Current year twig thickness: medium
Wood specific gravity: 0.55
Light requirement: a tree grows in full sun
Soil tolerances: clay; loam; sand; acidic; alkaline; well-drained
Drought tolerance: high
Aerosol salt tolerance: moderate
Roots: Surface roots are usually not a problem
Winter interest: no special winter interest
Outstanding tree: the tree has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more
Invasive potential: little, if any, potential at this time
Pest resistance: no pests are normally seen on the tree
Use and Management
Pink Trumpet Tree is well suited for use as a street tree or for other areas such as parking lot islands and buffer strips where temperatures are high and soil space is 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 prunings to accomplish. A pink tussle 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.
Moreover, Pink Trumpet trees should be grown in full sun on just about 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. As far as I know, pests and diseases are not of major concern.