Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Tecomaria capensis (Cape Honeysuckle)
The pinnately-compound leaves give the foliage a fern-like texture and the open flowers attract hummingbirds. Since it provides nectar during the winter months, hummingbirds may be encouraged to stay in your area year-round instead of migrating to Central America.
Tecomaria capensis is very drought-tolerant and is cold-hardy to the low 20°F range. It is recommended for USDA Zones 9-11 and will reportedly survive Zone 8 as a perennial. A full sun location is best for flowering, but it will also grow in light shade. The plant tolerates salt-spray, and will grow in acid or alkaline soils. It is also supposed to be deer-resistant.
This species is sometimes known as Cape Honeysuckle and is native to South Africa. There are less-common cultivars with yellow, red, or salmon-colored flowers.
Traditional medicines use the powdered bark of this plant to treat pain and sleeplessness. Disclaimer: No medicinal claims are being made. This is for informational purposes only.