Tecoma capensis: Cape honeysuckle

Family: Bignoniaceae
Common name: Cape honeysuckle

An unassuming garden plant, Cape honeysuckle can stand in a corner of your garden and keep flowering throughout the year. It can be pruned into shapes for hedges, or left unpruned to grow to about 3 meters in height. The tubular flowers are always found in clusters of 8-12 and can vary in color from orange to deep orange to red, though orange flowers are the most commonly seen. Cape honeysuckles can grow in partial shade or full sun, indoors or outdoors, in pots or on the ground.

The flowers attract butterflies, bees and humming birds; due to its nectar. The plant also produces seeds with 2 thin, gauzy wings, which are then dispersed by the wind. Cape Honeysuckle plants also grow in the wild, earning it the name of ‘invasive plants’ in some parts of the world. The leaves and stem are said to have medicinal properties and is used in treating fever, chest diseases, stomach ailments and even bleeding gums.

Propagation is from stem cuttings or rooted suckers that grow near the plant.

Photo Courtesy: love4gardening.com, Gopakumar Neelakantan

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