Tabebuia caraiba is the Tabebuia tree most often grown in the Sunshine State. Its common names include: Silver Tabebuia, Silver Trumpet Tree and Tree of Gold because of the silver cast of its mature bark and its stunning yellow blossoms.
The Tree of Gold works hardest to earn this title in the spring. This is when it is at its most striking. The butter yellow Petunia-shaped flowers congregate in clusters at the branch tips. There won't be many leaves on the deciduous Tabebuia at this time.
The effect is startling at a time when not much else is in bloom.
This show will only last a few weeks. Then the tree will clothe itself in oblong, leathery, loden leaves.
Not willing to be forgotten, the golden blossoms will reappear amidst the foliage periodically throughout the growing season.
A pair of Tabebuia trees flank a weeping bottlebrush at Palma Sola Botanical Park in Bradenton, Florida.
Another attractive feature of this Tabebuia species is its interesting branching structure. This is most easily seen when looking up into the canopy while standing directly beneath the tree or when the tree is nude.
The bark of mature specimens becomes fissured and resembles cork.
Tabebuia aurea growing on Grand Bahama Island.
This is one of the best yellow flowering trees to plant in central or south Florida landscapes. It grows with minimal care on nearly any type of soil as few pests bother it and the tree adapts quickly to drought or deluge.
It suffers, occasionally, from rust.
The Silver Trumpet Tree may be expected to grow to a height of 20 feet. It is somewhat salt tolerant but should not be planted too close to the surf.
T. aurea makes a lovely shade tree where it is hardy. It gives a superior performance to most other subtropical trees planted in central Florida as it is more cold tolerant than the majority of these.
Of course, it thrives in steamy climates like those found in south Florida and the Caribbean.