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Photo: Tangelo.

Photo: Miami Sunrise.

ARS has released three new cultivars of Tecoma guarume, a landscape shrub from the Trumpet Creeper family: Tangelo (top), Miami Sunrise (middle), and Miami Sunset (bottom). Photos courtesy of Alan W. Meerow, ARS.

Photo: Miami Sunset.

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Three New Tecoma Cultivars Add to Landscape Shrub Options

By Alfredo Flores
July 15, 2008

Three new cultivars of a shrub called Tecoma have been released by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Miami, Fla. These fast-growing shrubs flower throughout the warm months of the year, giving them great potential as landscape plants.

The three Tecoma guarume cultivars were developed by geneticist Alan Meerow and horticulturalist Tomás Ayala-Silva at the National Germplasm Repository, part of the ARS Subtropical Horticultural Research Station in Miami.

Tecoma includes14 species of shrubs and small trees from the trumpet-creeper family, found in the Americas from the southern United States through northern Argentina, and in Africa. Tecoma guarume is a semi-deciduous shrub, which rarely reaches 10 feet in height, and typically has yellowish-orange flowers. The three new cultivars are seedlings selected from seed received in 2000 from Peckerwood Garden in Hempstead, Texas.

One T. guarume cultivar, called "Miami Sunset," has four-inch-long leaves and crimson-colored buds that open red to orange-red and fade to reddish-orange as they age. A second cultivar, "Tangelo," has leaves that are five to six inches long and flowers that are uniformly orange. It produces abundant fruits and is very free-flowering. The third cultivar, "Miami Sunrise," has leaves four to five inches long with nine leaflets each, and flowers that open orange and fade to yellow with orange-yellow striations, with very little fruit production.

All three cultivars are best suited for well-drained soils, regular fertilization and full sun in the USDA Hardiness Zones 9A-11. No pest or disease problems have been observed by Meerow or Tomas-Ayala, meaning there is little or no need for pesticides.

The Miami repository is one of 18 repositories in the National Plant Germplasm System, and is in charge of maintaining the U.S. clonal collections of mango, avocado, banana and plantain, tropical citrus and other tropical crops.

Small quantities of cuttings of each of the three new Tecoma cultivars are available for research purposes through the NGR-Miami as accessions PI 651040 (Miami Sunrise), PI 651041 (Miami Sunset), and PI 651042 (Tangelo).

ARS is a scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.