News and Events

Botanical Buzz - Pink Trumpet Tree (Not Iffy but “Ipe”)

Friday, June 19, 2015

We have gone out on a limb with another South American import, the Pink Trumpet Tree (Tabebuia rosea).  Yes, we have rosy expectations for our new arrival which we have just peeled out of its plastic nursery bag. 

The Brazilian South American Indians call it “Ipe”; a name that covers a range of species that all come under the auspicious umbrella of the Bignoniaceae family.  Our new tree has the definitive name in Brazil of “Ipe roble blanco”.  In its natural range it can reach a height of 25 metres but we don’t expect that it will reach that here due to our extremes of temperature.  It has a straight and slender trunk, smooth bark and rounded crown.  The leaves are palmate (a leaf with 5 or more lobes whose ribs radiate from one point) and it’s deciduous in nature.  It’s pest free and doesn’t mind soggy soils.

Typical of the family are the trumpet shaped blossoms in garish primal colours.  For more than 20 years Victoria Park has shown off another plant in this family, the Violet Trumpet Vine (Clytostoma callistegioides) from Argentina.  For those that are interested it is located on the fence between Victoria Park No.1 Oval and the cenotaph.  It grows readily from both seed and cuttings.

For the past four years we have trialled a close relative of the Pink Trumpet Tree at the Sensory Gardens and that is why we have a degree of confidence.  Also from South America, this time Venezuela, is the “Ipe tabaco”, the Yellow Trumpet Tree (Tabebuia chrysotricha). 

We have noted that the new Pink Trumpet Tree has slightly more sensitive foliage and have erected some frost protection to help it through its first year.  Once established it should flower in its second year.

Standby and eagerly await news of what befalls our cast of plants as they pitch themselves against the harsh realities of our local climate.