Tecoma stans (yellow bells)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Biology and Ecology
- Soil Tolerances
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Pathway Vectors
- Plant Trade
- Impact Summary
- Impact: Biodiversity
- Threatened Species
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Uses List
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
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
- Pacific Islands: piti
- Germany: Aufrechte Trompetenwinde
- Italy: tecoma giallo
- TECST (Tecoma stans)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
Taxonomic TreeTop 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 NomenclatureTop of page
DescriptionTop of page
Plant TypeTop of page
DistributionTop of page
Distribution TableTop of page
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.Last updated: 25 Feb 2021
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Cabo Verde||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Original citation: Williams & Williams, 1951|
|South Africa||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Invasive|
|Indonesia||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Present||Native|
|Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba|
|British Virgin Islands||Present||Native|
|Costa Rica||Present, Widespread||Native|
|El Salvador||Present, Widespread||Native|
|Saint Lucia||Present||Uncertain whether native to Saint Lucia|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Present||Native|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||Present||Native|
|United States||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|Australia||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|Christmas Island||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Invasive|
|Federated States of Micronesia||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Invasive|
|Northern Mariana Islands||Present||Introduced||Invasive|
|-Minas Gerais||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Invasive|
|-Rio de Janeiro||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Invasive|
|-Rio Grande do Norte||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Invasive|
|-Rio Grande do Sul||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Invasive|
|-Santa Catarina||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Invasive|
|-Sao Paulo||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Invasive|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
HabitatTop of page
Habitat ListTop of page
|Terrestrial||Managed||Managed forests, plantations and orchards||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Managed||Disturbed areas||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Managed||Urban / peri-urban areas||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Natural / Semi-natural||Natural grasslands||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Natural / Semi-natural||Riverbanks||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
Biology and EcologyTop of page
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.
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.
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.
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 TolerancesTop of page
Special soil tolerances
Natural enemiesTop of page
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
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.
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 VectorsTop of page
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Fruits (inc. pods)|
|Growing medium accompanying plants|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches|
|True seeds (inc. grain)|
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Fisheries / aquaculture||None|
ImpactTop of page
Impact: BiodiversityTop of page
Threatened SpeciesTop of page
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page
- 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
- Damaged ecosystem services
- Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
- Negatively impacts agriculture
- Negatively impacts tourism
- Reduced amenity values
- Reduced native biodiversity
- Competition - monopolizing resources
- Competition - smothering
- Pest and disease transmission
- Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
- Difficult/costly to control
UsesTop of page
Uses ListTop of page
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.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.
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).
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).
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.
ReferencesTop of page
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
Fosberg FR, Sachet MH, Oliver RL, 1979. A geographical checklist of the Micronesian dicotyledonae. Micronesica, 15:222
Gentry AH, 1992. Bignoniaceae Part II (Tribe Tecomeae). Flora Neotropica. New York, USA: New York Botanical Garden, 285-290
Graveson R, 2012. The Plants of Saint Lucia (in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean). The Plants of Saint Lucia (in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean). http://www.saintlucianplants.com
Henderson L, 2001. Alien Weeds and Invasive Plants. Plant Protection Research Institute Handbook No. 12. Cape Town, South Africa: Paarl Printers
Kranz WM, Passini T, 1996. Fenologia de Tecoma stans (L.) Kunth como subsidio para seu controle. In: Congresso da Sociedade Botanica de Sao Paulo, 11. Sao Carlos. Proceedings, 103-104
Kranz WM, Passini T, 1996. Tecoma stans (L.) Kunth (Bignoniaceae), planta invasora de pastagens no Estado de Parana. In: Congreso Nacional de Botanica, 42, Novo Friburgo, 1966. Proceedings, 315
Kranz WM, Passini T, 1997. Amarelinho, biologia e controle. Informed a Pesquisa. Estado do Parana, Secretaria da Agricultura e do Abastecimiento, Instituto Agronomico do Parana, No. 121:1-17
Krauss U, 2012. 161 Invasive Alien Species present in Saint Lucia and their current status. Caribbean Alien Invasive Species Network (CIASNET), 12 pp. http://www.ciasnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/IAS-present-in-SLU-May-2012-revision.pdf
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Meckes-Lozoya M, Lozoya X, 1989. Histaminic response induced by the intravenous administration of Tecoma stans crude extracts in the dog. Herba-Hungarica, 28:117-122
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Witt, A., Luke, Q., 2017. Guide to the naturalized and invasive plants of Eastern Africa, [ed. by Witt, A., Luke, Q.]. Wallingford, UK: CABI.vi + 601 pp. http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158959 doi:10.1079/9781786392145.0000
Zeb A, Ishtiaq M, Ahmad N, 2000. Response of Tecoma seedlings to different soil media. Sarhad Journal of Agriculture, 16:497-502
Ayaz M, Arshad MN, 1999. Traffic noise abatement through tree and shrub vegetation. In: Pakistan Journal of Forestry, 48 1-11.
CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated b. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI
Gentry AH, 1992. Bignoniaceae Part II (Tribe Tecomeae). In: Flora Neotropica, New York, USA: New York Botanical Garden. 285-290.
Graveson R, 2012. The Plants of Saint Lucia (in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean). In: The Plants of Saint Lucia (in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean), http://www.saintlucianplants.com
Henderson L, 2001. Alien Weeds and Invasive Plants. In: Plant Protection Research Institute Handbook No. 12, Cape Town, South Africa: Paarl Printers.
Kranz WM, Passini T, 1996. (Fenologia de Tecoma stans (L.) Kunth como subsidio para seu controle). [Congresso da Sociedade Botanica de Sao Paulo, 11. Sao Carlos. Proceedings], 103-104.
Kranz WM, Passini T, 1997. (Amarelinho, biologia e controle). In: Informed a Pesquisa, 121 Estado do Parana, Secretaria da Agricultura e do Abastecimiento, Instituto Agronomico do Parana. 1-17.
Krauss U, 2012. 161 Invasive Alien Species present in Saint Lucia and their current status. In: Caribbean Alien Invasive Species Network (CIASNET), 12 pp. http://www.ciasnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/IAS-present-in-SLU-May-2012-revision.pdf
Loope L, 1997. Hawaii and the Pacific: A Report on the Status and Trends of the Biological Resources of the United States., Washington DC, USA: Department of the Interior.
Lorenzi H, 1991. (Plantas Daninhas do Brasil: Terrestres, Aquaticas, Parasitas, Toxicas e Medicinais)., Nova Odessa, Brazil: Editora Plantarum.
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Monot T, 1977. Piercing the flower of Tecoma stans by Xylocopa aestuans at Nouakchott (Mauritania). In: Bulletin de l'Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire, 39 169-176.
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Sakthivel P, Karuppuchamy P, Kalyanasundaram M, Srinivasan T, 2012. Host plants of invasive papaya mealybug, Paracoccus marginatus (Williams and Granara de Willink) in Tamil Nadu. Madras Agricultural Journal. 99 (7/9), 615-619. https://doc-00-7g-docsviewer.googleusercontent.com/viewer/securedownload/dsn1aovipa7l846lsfcf94nedj8q2p4u/qo3phtufamvk9q39umu888pbj4t4kkc6/1348647300000/c2l0ZXM=/AGZ5hq8BgbJY1gwaOYx83cPOdNw6/WkdWbVlYVnNkR1J2YldGcGJud3hNWFJvWlcxaFpISmhjMkZuY21samRXeDBkWEpoYkdwdmRYSnVZV3g4WjNnNk56WmpPREk1WXpBd01XWTNZelZrWkE=?a=gp&filename=99-7-9-615-619.pdf&chan=EQAAAOqeu1nfMdjbyOfMSElqQCfRbAOx1kCMBqnRUfeLUnjy&docid=0508176bd4abbdc3e7017b1a89751bc3%7C9c9df36583445f1fe402a841b5e1963b&sec=AHSqidZmGWqJKVKwfKsaqtFstCH
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Space JC, Flynn T, 2000. Observations on invasive plant species in American Samoa., Honolulu, USDA Forest Service. 51.
Space JC, Flynn T, 2000a. Report to the Government of Niue on invasive plant species of environmental concern., Honolulu, USDA Forest Service. 34.
Space JC, Flynn T, 2001. Report to the Kingdom of Tonga on invasive plant species of environmental concern., Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, USDA Forest Service.
Space JC, Waterhouse BM, Miles JE, Tiobech J, Rengulbai K, 2003. Report to the Republic of Palau on invasive plant species of environmental concern., Honolulu, USA: USDA Forest Service.
USDA-ARS, 2005. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx
USDA-NRCS, 2005. The PLANTS Database. Greensboro, North Carolina, USA: National Plant Data Team. https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov
Waterhouse D F, 1997. The major invertebrate pests and weeds of agriculture and plantation forestry in the southern and western Pacific. In: The major invertebrate pests and weeds of agriculture and plantation forestry in the southern and western Pacific. Canberra, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). vi + 93 pp.
Welsh SL, 1998. Flora Societensis: A summary revision of the flowering plants of the Society Islands., Orem, Utah, USA: E.P.S. Inc.
Witt A, Beale T, Wilgen B W van, 2018. An assessment of the distribution and potential ecological impacts of invasive alien plant species in eastern Africa. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa. 73 (3), 217-236. DOI:10.1080/0035919X.2018.1529003
Witt A, Luke Q, 2017. Guide to the naturalized and invasive plants of Eastern Africa. [ed. by Witt A, Luke Q]. Wallingford, UK: CABI. vi + 601 pp. http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158959 DOI:10.1079/9781786392145.0000
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