Tabebuia spp. and Handroanthus spp.

Tabebuia spp.

(Trumpet Trees)




Tabebuia spp., and Handroanthus spp.

Common name

Trumpet Trees

Flower colour; life form

Yellow, Pink; tree


Cairns, Townsville and district


In 2007, this large genus native to Central and South America was revised and on the basis of DNA, morphological and anatomical evidence subdivided into several genera. Most species are characterised by the opposite, palmate, i.e. hand-like, compound leaves with 3-5 leaflets, sometimes more, and large, showy tubular-campanulate flowers usually yellow or pink and the elongate fruits containing numerous seeds. Tabebuia spp., includes those species with narrow fruits usually less than 15 cm long, and only scales and simple hairs are present on the lower surface of the leaf, branched hairs are lacking. Flowers are chiefly pink or white although T. aurea is yellow. Species grown in North Queensland are: T. aurea (includes T. argentea), T. heterophylla, T. pallida, and T. rosea. Handroanthus spp., includes species with long, narrow fruits rarely less than 20 cm long and branched hairs either dendritic or stellate or both, are present at least on the midrib on the lower surface of the leaf. Flowers are yellow or pink usually with a prominent yellow throat. Species in North Queensland are: T. chrysantha = H. chrysanthus; T. chrysotricha = H. chrysotrichus; T impetignosa = H. impetiginosus; T.palmeri = H. impetiginosus and T. serratifolia = H. serratifolius. Another species which may occur in the area is T. heptophylla = H. heptophylla. The latter is distinguished from T. (H.) impetiginosa by the fruiting valves which are thin and striate.

Composite image of Tabebuia flowers and pods