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(L.) Juss. ex Kunth
Tecoma stans is a species of flowering perennial shrub in the trumpet vine family, Bignoniaceae, that is native to the Americas. Common names include yellow trumpetbush, yellow bells, yellow elder, ginger-thomas. Tecoma stans is the official flower of the United States Virgin Islands and the floral emblem of the Bahamas.
Yellow trumpetbush is an attractive plant that is cultivated as an ornamental. It has sharply toothed, lance-shaped green leaves and bears large, showy, bright golden yellow trumpet-shaped flowers. It is drought-tolerant and grows well in warm climates. The flowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The plant produces pods containing yellow seeds with papery wings. The plant is desirable fodder when it grows in fields grazed by livestock. Yellow trumpetbush is a ruderal species, readily colonizing disturbed, rocky, sandy, and cleared land and occasionally becoming an invasive weed
The leaves and roots of the plant contain bioactive compounds, especially monoterpenes, which may have medicinal uses; Robert Vines in his book Trees, Shrubs & Woody Vines of the Southwest writes that Tecoma stans was long known and used by the Indian and Mexican peoples of the Southwest and Mexico for bowmaking, bee fodder and medicines. Also referred to as 'Hardy Yellow Trumpet,' it was included in medicines for diabetes and stomach cramps and was thought to have diuretic and anthelmintic uses. A sort of native beer was brewed from the roots. honey bees are attracted to it. The usual academic sites dealing with toxic plants show no mention of Yellow Bells' toxicity, or that honey produced from its nectar is bad.
Yellow trumpetbush can be found throughout much of the neotropical Americas, including the Southwestern United States and Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Central America, and South America as far south as northern Argentina. It has been introduced to several other regions, such as southern Africa, India, the Philippines and Hawaii. It has become a nuisance weed on several Pacific islands, especially in French Polynesia, where it is called piti.
- Baza Mendonça, Luciana & dos Anjos, Luiz (2005): Beija-flores (Aves, Trochilidae) e seus recursos florais em uma área urbana do Sul do Brasil [Hummingbirds (Aves, Trochilidae) and their flowers in an urban area of southern Brazil]. [Portuguese with English abstract] Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 22(1): 51–59. doi:10.1590/S0101-81752005000100007 PDF fulltext
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