When I first began observing local landscapes for ideas the striking Esperanza with its bright yellow flowers from spring to fall stood out as a must-have plant.
Native to rocky limestone slopes around San Antonio, Tecoma Stans is one of the most xeric plants in my landscape. Planted in the rockiest, hottest part of the yard it grows and blooms all summer without a drop of supplemental water. It thrives in our full summer sun.
The deer can sometimes browse a new young plant so I cover newly planted ones with a wire basket until they grow out.
From the Texas Native Plants Database:
The striking, tubular 2 1/2-inch bright yellow flowers are highlighted by the attractive, shiny, green foliage and continue through the heat of the summer. The flowers have an odd but pleasing fragrance and also provide nectar for bees. The Indians made bows from its wood, and in Mexico a beer was prepared from its roots; it has also been used for a variety of medicines.
Esperanza is related to the trumpet vine as a close look at the flowers will confirm. The clusters of bright yellow flowers set off by the foliage stand-out during our many sunny days. There is also an orange flowering selection available now too.
Tecoma stans adds a bright backdrop for the cactus garden in the back yard. Its large size (this one is about eight feet high) and leafy texture creates a good backdrop for the smaller plants in the cactus garden.
I have a second Esperanza near the front of the garage which will be moved this winter because it is in too much shade and we prefer an evergreen plant in that spot to hide the trash can enclosure. It was planted at the same time as the one in the back yard and there's now a height difference of several feet due to the shady location.
The native range for Esperanza extends west to Arizona, east to Florida and down into South America so it is only marginally hardy below zone 8. Esperanza loses foliage in most winters here and can sometimes die back more significantly in a harsh winter. It needs a mild winter or winter protection to get established during the first year. Once established it can take our occasional deep freezes and prolonged cold snaps pretty well.
Esperanza or Tecoma stans is an excellent choice for San Antonio landscapes.
Exposure: full sun
Blooms: Spring through Fall
Shrub: 3 to 10+ feet height, 3 to 4 feet wide
Soil Requirements: neutral alkaline
Hardiness Zone: 8