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Striving for Diversity: The Trumpet Trees

Articles: Striving for Diversity: The Trumpet Trees

Pink trumpet tree (Handroanthus impetiginosus). Author's photographs

Few spring-blooming trees are more spectacular than the trumpet trees. In March and April, they enliven Southern California neighborhoods with a short-lived, yet dazzling display of gold or pink flowers. A leafless tree adorned with tens of thousands of large, almost unnaturally bright, trumpet-shaped flowers is a sight to behold. After an early spring stroll through Arcadia’s Los Angeles County Arboretum or Santa Barbara’s Alice Keck Park Garden, one is left wondering why such trees are not more widely planted. These lovely tropical trees are the subjects of the first installment of articles in Pacific Horticulture on undeservedly rare trees.

The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden, which has the best collection of mature trumpet trees in California, helped to introduce them to cultivation in the 1970s. Although primarily grown in Southern California (Sunset zones 15, 16, 20-24), these small to medium-sized charmers could be cultivated in more northerly locations, as they are cold hardy to temperatures as low as 20° F. The ...


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