Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Tecoma stans
(yellow bells)

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Datasheet

Tecoma stans (yellow bells)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 26 February 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Tecoma stans
  • Preferred Common Name
  • yellow bells
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • T. stans is an aggressive plant invader that outcompetes natural vegetation and grassland. It can be described as a transformer species which reduces biodiversity and destroys natural resources. It has been planted as an ornamental garden and street...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Yellow trumpet flowers and green pods.
TitleFlowers and pods
CaptionYellow trumpet flowers and green pods.
CopyrightHelmuth G. Zimmermann
Yellow trumpet flowers and green pods.
Flowers and podsYellow trumpet flowers and green pods.Helmuth G. Zimmermann
Close-up view of flowers.
TitleFlowers
CaptionClose-up view of flowers.
CopyrightHelmuth G. Zimmermann
Close-up view of flowers.
FlowersClose-up view of flowers.Helmuth G. Zimmermann
Infestation near Pretoria, South Africa.
TitleInfestation
CaptionInfestation near Pretoria, South Africa.
CopyrightHelmuth G. Zimmermann
Infestation near Pretoria, South Africa.
InfestationInfestation near Pretoria, South Africa.Helmuth G. Zimmermann
Typical natural habitat of T. stans in Morelos, Central Mexico.
TitleTypical natural habitat
CaptionTypical natural habitat of T. stans in Morelos, Central Mexico.
CopyrightHelmuth G. Zimmermann
Typical natural habitat of T. stans in Morelos, Central Mexico.
Typical natural habitatTypical natural habitat of T. stans in Morelos, Central Mexico.Helmuth G. Zimmermann
P. transformans rust galls affect all parts of the plant except for the roots.
|Prospodium transformans rust galls which affect all parts of the plant except for the roots.
TitleNatural enemy|Symptoms on Tecoma stans
CaptionP. transformans rust galls affect all parts of the plant except for the roots. |Prospodium transformans rust galls which affect all parts of the plant except for the roots.
CopyrightHelmuth G. Zimmermann
P. transformans rust galls affect all parts of the plant except for the roots.
|Prospodium transformans rust galls which affect all parts of the plant except for the roots.
Natural enemy|Symptoms on Tecoma stans P. transformans rust galls affect all parts of the plant except for the roots. |Prospodium transformans rust galls which affect all parts of the plant except for the roots. Helmuth G. Zimmermann
P. transformans affecting green pods of Tecoma stans.|Prospodium transformans affecting green pods of T. stans. This rust is considered a good biocontrol agent.
TitleNatural enemy|Symptoms on pods
CaptionP. transformans affecting green pods of Tecoma stans.|Prospodium transformans affecting green pods of T. stans. This rust is considered a good biocontrol agent.
CopyrightHelmuth G. Zimmermann
P. transformans affecting green pods of Tecoma stans.|Prospodium transformans affecting green pods of T. stans. This rust is considered a good biocontrol agent.
Natural enemy|Symptoms on podsP. transformans affecting green pods of Tecoma stans.|Prospodium transformans affecting green pods of T. stans. This rust is considered a good biocontrol agent.Helmuth G. Zimmermann
P. transformans affecting green pods of Tecoma stans. The rust is considered a good biocontrol agent for this weed.|Prospodium transformans affecting green pods of T. stans. The rust is considered a good biocontrol agent.
TitleNatural enemy|Symptoms on pods
CaptionP. transformans affecting green pods of Tecoma stans. The rust is considered a good biocontrol agent for this weed.|Prospodium transformans affecting green pods of T. stans. The rust is considered a good biocontrol agent.
CopyrightHelmuth G. Zimmermann
P. transformans affecting green pods of Tecoma stans. The rust is considered a good biocontrol agent for this weed.|Prospodium transformans affecting green pods of T. stans. The rust is considered a good biocontrol agent.
Natural enemy|Symptoms on podsP. transformans affecting green pods of Tecoma stans. The rust is considered a good biocontrol agent for this weed.|Prospodium transformans affecting green pods of T. stans. The rust is considered a good biocontrol agent.Helmuth G. Zimmermann

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Tecoma stans (L.) Juss. ex Humb., Bonpl. & Kunth

Preferred Common Name

  • yellow bells

Other Scientific Names

  • Bignonia incise Sweet
  • Bignonia stans L.
  • Gelseminum stans (L.) Knutze
  • Stenolobium quinquejugum Loes.
  • Stenolobium stans (L.) Seem.
  • Tecoma incise hort. ex DC.
  • Tecoma mollis Kunth

International Common Names

  • English: trumpetflower; yellow elder; yellow trumpetbush
  • Spanish: lluvia de oro; trompeta; trona frente; tronadora
  • French: tecoma jaune
  • Portuguese: amarelinho; ipê-mírím

Local Common Names

  • : piti
  • Germany: Aufrechte Trompetenwinde
  • Italy: tecoma giallo

EPPO code

  • TECST (Tecoma stans)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page T. stans is an aggressive plant invader that outcompetes natural vegetation and grassland. It can be described as a transformer species which reduces biodiversity and destroys natural resources. It has been planted as an ornamental garden and street tree but has become a problem in parts of tropical and sub-tropical Africa, Asia, South America, Pacific Islands and Australia.

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Scrophulariales
  •                         Family: Bignoniaceae
  •                             Genus: Tecoma
  •                                 Species: Tecoma stans

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page Although the genera Bignonia and Stenolobium are still sometimes used by authors, their usage is incorrect (Pelton 1964; Gentry 1992). Tecoma Juss. amended Humb., Bonpl. & Kunth, is entirely a Western Hemisphere tropical and sub-tropical genus of about 16 species of which Tecoma stans is the type species. This species is also the most widely distributed and is made up of a polymorphic complex of forms which have often been segregated into several species or subspecies (Gentry, 1992). Today three subspecies are recognized. The most common and widespread type is T. stans var. stans which was also known incorrectly as T. incisa, T. stans var. apiifolia, Stenolobium stans var. pinnatum, S. stans var. multijugum and S. quinquejugum. The second recognized variety is T. stans var. angustata Rehder which was also known as S. incisum, T. incisa and S. tronadora and has narrower and more sharply and deeply serrated lanceolate leaflets. This variety is confined to the northwestern range of T. stans. The third variety is T. stans var. velutina DC. which was known as T. mollis, T. sorbifolia, S. molle, Gelseminum molle and T. fabrisii. As the name implies, the leaflets of this variety are velutinous (velvety), mainly on the underside and tend to be more subcoriaceous (leathery) and less acuminate than typical T. stans. It is mainly confined to the high altitudes of the South American Andes in the 1500-2600 m altitudes in the Sierra Madre South of Mexico and Guatemala. Very few infestations of T. stans outside its native range have been classified to subspecific level.

Description

Top of page T. stans is a shrub or a small tree which can reach a height of 8 m, rarely 10 m, and with stem diameters of up to 25 cm. Plants in dense stands are usually smaller with heights of 5-6 m. It remains evergreen in moist and warmer regions but changes to deciduous in more temperate regions with a pronounced dry season (Pelton, 1964). The pinnate leaves are bright green above, paler below and can be smooth or hairy, often around the veins, depending on the region (subspecies). The leaf size is also dependent on the variety and can be large, 100-200 mm long, pinnate with 3-17 leaflets 2.4-15 cm long, 0.8-6 cm wide, progressively larger distally (Gentry, 1992). Most leaves have 5-7 leaflets including the terminal one. Leaf margins can be sharply toothed as in T. stans var. angustata or less toothed as in the other varieties. Inflorescences are terminal or subterminal with up to 20 bright yellow showy trumpet-shaped flowers, about 50 mm long. In some varieties the corolla is slightly orange-yellow with pinkish lines in the throat. The fruit is a linear shiny capsule, 12-22 cm long and about 1 cm thick, pointed at the end. The two-valve dehiscent capsule splits open to release up to 77 (mean 42) papery-winged seeds which are primarily wind, and to a lesser extent water, dispersed.

Plant Type

Top of page Perennial
Seed propagated
Shrub
Tree
Vegetatively propagated
Woody

Distribution

Top of page T. stans is very widely cultivated as an ornamental garden and street tree throughout the tropical and sub-tropical world, also within its native range (Gentry, 1992). This resulted in much uncertainty about its natural or introduced status in several countries in the Americas, for example, in Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil and several islands in the West Indies (Pelton, 1964). The rapid expansion of its distribution and its invasive behaviour in Argentina and Brazil must be a strong indication of an introduced exotic responding to the absence of natural enemies although most of the literature gives Argentina as its southernmost natural distribution (Pelton, 1964). It is widespread in the Pacific region (PIER, 2005). The invasive status of T. stans is likely to increase dramatically in many countries of introduction as it changes from a 'sleeper weed' to its invasive stage.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasivePlantedReferenceNotes

Asia

Christmas Island (Indian Ocean)WidespreadIntroduced Invasive Swarbrick and Hart, 2001
IndiaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Seeman, 1863
-KarnatakaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Raju et al., 2001
-Madhya PradeshPresentIntroducedGargav and Katiyar, 1971
-Uttar PradeshPresentIntroducedShukla and Upadhyaya, 1973
-West BengalPresentIntroducedPal and Das, 2001
IndonesiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-JavaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Pelton, 1964
PakistanPresentIntroducedAyaz and Arshad, 1999; Zeb et al., 2000
PhilippinesWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Merill, 1923; Pelton, 1964

Africa

BotswanaPresentIntroducedWitt and Luke, 2017
Cape VerdeWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Williams & Williams, 1951
EthiopiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Witt and Luke, 2017
KenyaPresentIntroduced Invasive Witt and Luke, 2017
MalawiPresentIntroduced Invasive Witt and Luke, 2017
MauritaniaPresentIntroducedMonot, 1977
MauritiusPresentIntroduced Not invasive Sauer, 1961; Pelton, 1964
NigeriaPresentIntroducedBianco et al., 1980
RwandaPresentIntroducedWitt and Luke, 2017
South AfricaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Henderson, 2001
TanzaniaPresentIntroduced Invasive Witt and Luke, 2017
UgandaPresentIntroducedWitt and Luke, 2017
ZambiaPresentIntroducedWitt and Luke, 2017
ZimbabwePresentIntroducedWitt and Luke, 2017

North America

MexicoWidespreadNative Not invasive Natural Gentry, 1992
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-ArizonaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2005; USDA-NRCS, 2005
-FloridaRestricted distributionNative Not invasive Natural Gentry, 1992
-HawaiiWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Loope, 1997
-New MexicoPresentNative Natural USDA-NRCS, 2005
-TexasPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2005; USDA-NRCS, 2005

Central America and Caribbean

Antigua and BarbudaPresentNative Not invasive Natural Pelton, 1964
BahamasPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2005
British Virgin IslandsPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2005
Cayman IslandsPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2005
Costa RicaWidespreadNative Not invasive Natural Gentry, 1992
CubaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2005
CuraçaoPresent Natural
DominicaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2005
Dominican RepublicPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2005
El SalvadorWidespreadNative Not invasive Natural Gentry, 1992
GrenadaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2005
GuadeloupePresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2005
GuatemalaWidespreadNative Not invasive Natural Gentry, 1992
HaitiWidespreadNative Not invasive Natural Gentry, 1992
HondurasWidespreadNative Not invasive Natural Gentry, 1992
JamaicaWidespreadNative Not invasive Natural Pelton, 1964
MartiniquePresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2005
MontserratPresentNative Not invasive Pelton, 1964
Netherlands AntillesPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2005
NicaraguaWidespreadNative Not invasive Natural Gentry, 1992
PanamaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2005
Puerto RicoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2005; USDA-NRCS, 2005
SabaPresent Natural
Saint LuciaPresentUSDA-ARS, 2005; Graveson, 2012; Krauss, 2012Uncertain whether native to Saint Lucia
Trinidad and TobagoPresentNative Not invasive Williams & Williams, 1951; Pelton, 1964
United States Virgin IslandsPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2005; USDA-NRCS, 2005

South America

ArgentinaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Natural Holm et al., 1979
BoliviaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2005
BrazilPresentIntroduced Invasive Lorenzi, 1991
-Minas GeraisWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Lorenzi, 1991
-ParanaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Kranz and Passini, 1996a; Kranz and Passini, 1997
-PernambucoWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Lorenzi, 1991
-Rio de JaneiroWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Lorenzi, 1991
-Rio Grande do NorteWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Lorenzi, 1991
-Rio Grande do SulWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Kranz and Passini, 1997
-Santa CatarinaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Kranz and Passini, 1997
-Sao PauloWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Kranz and Passini, 1997
ColombiaWidespreadNative Not invasive Natural Gentry, 1992
EcuadorPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2005
PeruPresent Not invasive Natural Pelton, 1964
VenezuelaPresentNative Not invasive Natural Pelton, 1964

Oceania

American SamoaPresentIntroduced Invasive Space and Flynn, 2000a
AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-QueenslandPresentIntroduced Invasive Randall, 2001
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroduced Invasive Randall, 2001
Cook IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive Space and Flynn, 2000a
FijiPresentIntroduced Invasive Smith, 1991
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Welsh, 1998
GuamPresentIntroduced Invasive Fosberg et al., 1979
KiribatiPresentIntroduced Invasive Fosberg et al., 1979
Marshall IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2005
Micronesia, Federated states ofWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Waterhouse, 1997
New CaledoniaPresentIntroduced Invasive Swarbrick, 1997
NiuePresentIntroduced Invasive Space and Flynn, 2000b
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive Fosberg et al., 1979
PalauPresentIntroduced Invasive Space et al., 2003
SamoaPresentIntroduced Invasive Space and Flynn, 2000b
Solomon IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive Swarbrick, 1997
TongaPresentIntroduced Invasive Space and Flynn, 2001

Risk of Introduction

Top of page T. stans is an attractive shrub or small tree that has small seeds that travel well and are easy to grow. Introduction through the nursery trade represents the greatest risk to new areas. In South Africa, the sale of T. stans is prohibited (Henderson, 2001). Travellers carrying seeds for home cultivation also represent a risk (Randall, 2001).

Habitat

Top of page The very extensive distribution of T. stans and its wide genetic variability implies that it is found over many habitats from the Andes regions of central South America to Arizona, southern Texas (USA), Baja California and northern Mexico (Pelton, 1964). The extremes within this distribution, from the high altitude regions of South America and the drier habitats of North America have separate subspecies, namely, T. stans var. velutina and T. stans var. angustata, respectively. The latter subspecies is found mainly as a riparian species along dry riverbeds, often in rocky terrain, but is also a typical dry shrubland species, usually of small size. In Mexico, T. stans var. stans is the more widely distributed subspecies and occupies mainly shrub forest habitats or forest margins in higher rainfall areas. According to Pelton (1964), T. stans prefers well drained alluvial and calcarious soils with a high pH value. Because the plant is so widely cultivated as an ornamental throughout its native range and from where it often escapes, it has become difficult to recognize typical habitats. It becomes very abundant on overgrazed lands and in disturbed habitats both within and outside its native range. The most severe invasions in Brazil, northern Argentina and South Africa are found in medium to high rainfall sub-tropical climate zones, often along drainage lines.

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page T. stans is not a crop weed but an aggressive plant invader that outcompetes natural vegetation and grassland.

Biology and Ecology

Top of page Genetics

The chromosome number is 2n=40 (Pelton, 1964). Natural hybridization with other species has not been recorded.

Physiology and Phenology

There is no seed dormancy known and seed longevity is short (Pelton, 1964). Seedlings establish rapidly with a prominent tap root.

Reproductive Biology

This plant is autocompatible and requires external pollination (Kranz and Passini, 1997). It can flower throughout the year, or flowering can be seasonal, usually in summer and after good rains. Only a small proportion of the flowers set fruit in its native range which can be attributed to drought conditions, pollination failure and insect attack. In contrast, fruit set in countries of introduction is high, e.g. in South Africa. Vegetative reproduction from root and stem cuttings is less important for long distance dispersal but allows for rapid densification of populations after disturbances, including attempts to remove plants mechanically. The vigorous sucker shoots tend to be erect as the specific name 'stans' implies.

Environmental Requirements

The species, which includes the thee recognized subspecies, has a very wide climatic tolerance. It occurs from the south of Arizona and Texas (USA) with a prolonged dry season and sub-zero winter temperatures to the sub-tropics to almost tropical conditions of Chiapas (Mexico) and Guatamala. In Peru it is found at altitudes of up to 3000 m and 2439 m in Hidalgo, Mexico (Pelton, 1964). The climatic tolerance of an invading population will thus depend to a large extent on the origin of the plant. In South Africa, T. stans appears to fit the description of T. stans var. angustata which originated from the northern range of its distribution and explains why it is pre-adapted to prolonged dry conditions and can tolerate frost, whereas the invading populations in Brazil belong to T. stans var. stans which is the more common type found in the sub-tropics and tropics of Mexico, central America and the Caribbean islands and which appears to be less hardy. Deciduousness and a high wilting tolerance allows the species to survive prolonged drought conditions, indication of a habitat which is subject to periodic dry conditions (Pelton, 1964). Low pod production in India during certain months is attributed to pollen degeneration (microsporogenesis) at temperatures between 34 and 44°C (Kumar and Singh, 1988).

Plants are often found growing along steep gradients, road sides and eroded and overgrazed areas. In Mauritius and Jamaica plants grow only 30 m from the sea where they are subject to salt sprays and storm waves. Deforestation has certainly increased its range to areas where it did not previously occur, for example, under shaded forest canopies. High light intensity, good soil drainage and open community vegetation appear to be three important prerequisites for successful colonization, preferably in lithosols and coarse alluvium soils with medium to high pH values.

Associations

T. stans is notably a species of forest margins and of mesic soft-leaved shrub or deciduous sub-tropical vegetation. Other vegetation types mentioned in the literature include 'dry bushy slopes', 'evergreen riparian bush', 'mesquite-grassland zone', 'short tree forests', 'brush lands', 'dry scrub woodlands', etc. (Pelton, 1964). It is an early succession species which aids in fast colonization of disturbed areas, eventually being replaced by climax species within its native range. In non-native areas dense infestations are usually permanent. No particular vascular plants have been found to be consistently associated with T. stans, which is probably an indication of its pioneer status.

Soil Tolerances

Top of page

Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile
  • shallow

Natural enemies

Top of page
Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Clydonopteron pomponius Herbivore Fruits/pods/Seeds
Prospodium appendiculatus Pathogen Growing point/Inflorescence/Leaves/Stems
Prospodium transformans Pathogen Growing point/Leaves/Stems

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page South Africa and Brazil have started to investigate the possibilities of biological control and some preliminary surveys for potential host-specific natural enemies have commenced. The most significant and impacting natural enemies are the rusts, namely Prospodium appendiculatum and P. transformans. The former is already present in Brazil where it causes some damage to infestations (Vitorino et al., 2003). Other diseases recorded include Puccinia tecomae, Triblidiella rubula and Septobasidium alni (Pelton, 1964). Several membracid and cercopid species in Mexico are affecting the young racemes which reduce flowering and promote early pod abortion. No endophagous seed-feeding insects have yet been found but a pyralid pod-feeding moth in the genus Clydenopteron causes some significant damage to the seeds in Mexico and may be considered for biological control. Surveys of insects associated with T. stans in Brazil have revealed at least 40 species in 12 insect orders but most are general feeders and transfer species which have limited impact on the expanding infestations (Dutra and Machado, 2001). It is also a host to several common insect pests in Brazil and India including Typhlodromus dominiquae, Amblyseius ovaloides, Spilosoma obliqua, Mylabris pustulata, Diacrisia oblique and the fungus Alternaria tenuis [A. alternata] (Shukla and Upadhyaya, 1973; Kranz and Passini, 1997; Pal and Das, 2001). The fungus Pseudocercospora gymnematis was found on T. stans in West Bengal, India (Sarbajna and Chattopadhyay, 1991).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)

Dispersal is mainly by wind and water dispersed winged seeds. These are produced in large quantities almost throughout the year. Regeneration from cut roots and stumps results in dense populations after mechanical disturbances.

Vector Transmission (Biotic)

Little is known of the role of birds in the dispersal of T. stans.

Intentional Introduction

By far the most important mode of global dispersal is through the nursery trade and the attraction of T. stans as a garden ornamental which is assisted by its ease of propagation and rapid growth.

Pathway Vectors

Top of page
VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Clothing, footwear and possessionsTravellers carrying seeds for home cultivation Yes
MailPopular garden plant. Seeds are small and travel well Yes

Plant Trade

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Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Bark
Bulbs/Tubers/Corms/Rhizomes
Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx
Fruits (inc. pods)
Growing medium accompanying plants
Leaves
Roots
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches
True seeds (inc. grain)
Wood

Impact Summary

Top of page
CategoryImpact
Animal/plant collections None
Animal/plant products None
Biodiversity (generally) Negative
Crop production None
Environment (generally) Negative
Fisheries / aquaculture None
Forestry production None
Human health Positive
Livestock production Negative
Native fauna Negative
Native flora Negative
Rare/protected species Negative
Tourism Positive
Trade/international relations None
Transport/travel None

Impact

Top of page T. stans is unpalatable and drastically impedes the grazing capacity of the invaded land.

Impact: Biodiversity

Top of page Monocultures of T. stans outcompete native vegetation. This is particularly relevant in the State of Parana in Brazil where large infestations occur. Allelopathic activities are not known but plants contain various monoterpene alkaloids, tecostanine, tecomanine and boschniakine which may well contribute to the exclusion of competitors (Berg et al., 1977; Kranz and Passini, 1996a).

Threatened Species

Top of page
Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Peucedanum sandwicense (makou)NatureServe NatureServe; USA ESA listing as threatened species USA ESA listing as threatened speciesHawaiiCompetition - smotheringUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2011

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Negatively impacts tourism
  • Reduced amenity values
  • Reduced native biodiversity
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - smothering
  • Pest and disease transmission
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

Top of page The bright-green foliage, beautiful bell-shaped cluster of bright-yellow flowers and the plant's hardiness makes it a very sought after garden ornamental. Large stands of flowering yellow-bells make an impressive sight that attracts tourists. Other uses include its reputed medicinal properties: antidiabetic (hypoglycaemic) and lowering of blood pressure, induced by histamine-releasing substances (Perez et al., 1984; Meckes-Lozoya and Lozoya, 1989; Kranz and Passini, 1997). Leaves are not grazed.

Uses List

Top of page

General

  • Ornamental

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page Several species in the Bignoniaceae have similar yellow tubular flowers and compound leaves which resemble T. stans. Most striking similarities are found in several species in the genus Tabebuia, also from the Americas. Tecoma castanifolia and T. alata [T. guarume] are also recorded as naturalized and invasive (Randall, 2002).

Prevention and Control

Top of page Introduction

Integrating various control methods is the most effective approach and includes the prevention of new introductions, dispersal and sales by the nursery trade as well as mechanical and chemical control.

Mechanical Control

Maintaining a vigorous ground cover, preventing overgrazing and rehabilitating disturbed areas remains one of the best methods to prevent establishment and invasion of T. stans. Frequent inspections of pastures and forest margins are necessary to locate seedlings that can be hand-pulled. Larger plants can be uprooted by using a tractor, but resprouting from cut roots can cause rapid reinfestation unless the remaining roots are burnt after drying. Rehabilitation of such disturbed areas after uprooting and burning is essential. Follow-up control to remove the regrowth is necessary for at least a year after initial control (Kranz and Passini 1996b, 1997).

Chemical Control

Conventional chemical control methods of shrubs and small trees as practised by most municipalities and counties are not effective against T. stans. Only repeated applications of foliar-applied herbicides are effective but this method is usually not economic. More effective are cut-stump application methods using oil-based or oil/water emulsions of 2,4-D and picloram mixtures. These are generously applied to the freshly cut stumps by spraying or painting. Soil applied tebuthiuron also gave excellent control 270 days after treatment (Kranz and Passini, 1997).

Biological Control

Host specificity tests on two rust fungus species, namely, the microcyclic Prospodium transformans and the macrocyclic P. appendiculatum from Mexico are in progress in South Africa. P. appendiculatum is already present in Brazil and Argentina but is not contributing much to the suppression of populations. Further surveys for additional host-specific natural enemies are planned. A raceme-feeding membracid and the pyralid pod-feeding moth Clydenopteron sp. are to be introduced into quarantine in South Africa for possible biological control.

References

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Ayaz M, Arshad MN, 1999. Traffic noise abatement through tree and shrub vegetation. Pakistan Journal of Forestry, 48:1-11

Berg W, Gross D, Schutte HR, Herrmann M, 1977. Zur Massenspektrometrie der Tecoma-Alkalaoide. Pharmazie, 32:41-45

Bianco A, Guiso M, Marini-Bettolo R, Oguakwa JU, Passacantilli P, 1980. New iridoids from Tecoma stans (from Nigeria) and Lamium Amplexicaule (from Italy). International research congres on natural products as medicinal agents. Planta Medica, 39:268

Dutra JCS, Machado VLL, 2001. Flowering entomofauna in Stenolobium stans (Juss.) Seem (Bignoniaceae). Neotropical Entomology, 30(1):43-53; 34 ref

Fosberg FR, Sachet MH, Oliver RL, 1979. A geographical checklist of the Micronesian dicotyledonae. Micronesica, 15:222

Gargav VP, Katiyar OP, 1971. Some new hosts of Diacrisia at Raipur, M.P. Indian Journal of Horticulture, 28(4):316

Gentry AH, 1992. Bignoniaceae Part II (Tribe Tecomeae). Flora Neotropica. New York, USA: New York Botanical Garden, 285-290

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GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

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