We are often seduced by beauty and with the case of Yellow Bells, Tecoma stans that is certainly true! The bright yellow trumpet-shaped flowers are indeed very attractive, but this is an invasive declared weed. Seen along many roadsides and open spaces the spread of this plant in the warmer provinces of South Africa is alarming. As a Cara and Nemba Category 1 weed it is a declared invader and by law should be controlled or eradicated from your property.

Yellow Bells was introduced from tropical America as an ornamental shrub and has become a real menace spreading along road verges, watercourses and into the understorey of some plantations in Mpumalanga.

The hundreds of papery winged seeds make for easy dispersal, outcompeting many local plant species. This leads to a loss of potential grazing, browse and habitat for local animals and birds and uses up valuable water and nutrients.

Let’s all be more aware when planting our gardens, selecting indigenous plants where possible or at least non-invasive species. There are several species with beautiful bright yellow flowers adapted to local conditions learn more on TheTreeApp SA.

Copy by Bernie Spencer. Photo by Peter Thomas.