As Valentine’s Day approaches, Southern Florida prepares for a breathtaking spectacle of pink: the blooming of Handroanthus impetiginosus, commonly known as the Pink Trumpet Tree or a Pink Tabebuia. Despite being nonnative, this stunning tree has integrated itself into being a staple of our urban landscape, showcasing its vibrant floral display during our peak tourism season unlike the summer blooming crapemyrtle. Let’s explore this enchanting plant and whether it is a tree you should consider in your landscape.
Numerous Trumpet Tree Species
You may have a Pink Trumpet Tree that blooms at a different time of the year, fear not, there are many different species of Trumpet Trees in the Handroanthus and Tabebuia genus. Many of the common species found in Florida landscapes are covered in this UF/IFAS Gardening Solutions page: https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/trees-and-shrubs/trees/trumpet-tree.html
Florida-Friendly but Not Native
Handroanthus impetiginosus is a Florida-Friendly plant, listed as Not a problem species by the UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas and will be studied again in 2026. While it may not be native to the region, it has not demonstrated any invasive tendencies. This makes it a solid addition to Southern Florida’s urban and suburban landscapes, adding a pop of color without disrupting the delicate balance of native flora and fauna. If you prefer native, several alternatives for colorful spring trees might be Red Maple, Walter’s Viburnum, or Chickasaw Plum. But these natives can be difficult in Sarasota County if not in the Right Place, as they are all borderline choices for our zone.
Absurd Floral Extravaganza
The Pink Trumpet Tree is renowned for its absurd floral display, particularly in early spring. To maximize its mesmerizing blossoms, it sheds all of its leaves, allowing its large, trumpet-shaped flowers to take center stage. Depending on the cultivar, these flowers can range from pure white to shades of pink and even peachy orange, creating a kaleidoscope of colors that attract numerous pollinators, including bumblebees and hummingbirds which I have personally watched go to its flowers.
Exceptional Urban Tree and Drought Tolerance
Beyond its ornamental value, the Pink Tabebuia serves as an exceptional urban tree in Southern Florida. Thriving on drought conditions, it seems to bloom even more profusely when it is off irrigation. This resilience makes it a preferred choice for landscaping where irrigation water is a factor, providing beauty and shade to urban streets and parks alike. Its deciduous growth habit ensures that it maximizes its flower display during the winter and spring months while offering cooling shade during the scorching summer heat.
As February unfolds and Valentine’s Day draws near, let us revel in the enchanting beauty of the various Trumpet Trees that grace the landscapes of Southern Florida. With their absurd floral display and exceptional urban adaptability, these trees can be a beautiful addition to our landscapes.