Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tecomaria capensis 'Aurea'

Tecomaria capensis 'Aurea'
 Yellow Cape Honeysuckle

The brassy orange flowering form of this South African shrub was once a popular hedge plant here on the South Coast particularly with dairy farmers as it formed a sheltered barrier in the milking yards to calm the cows down before they went into the sheds. It can form a huge densely packed hedge sometimes reaching 7 metres or more and in the warmer months it is never without a flower. Tolerating moist salt laden winds, cold down to -2C and drought, it is easy to see why it was once a popular plant. Its fall from grace in suburban gardens has more to do with it being a difficult plant to manage as it has the habit of sending out long horizontal cane like stems which send roots down whenever they find a piece of fresh ground. This yellow flowering form has a more subdued nature and is less vigorous in growth and can be kept under control with comparative ease. It flowers from now till late autumn and is not particular about soil or aspect.

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