Looking through my archives, I am reminded of the long flowering period of the indigenous Cape Honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis) in the Eastern Cape. I have photographs of these beautiful orange tubular flowers stretching from September through to May. There is an abundance of them now, both in gardens and in the veld.

While many gardeners trim these fast-growing plants into attractive hedges, I fight a losing battle against its propensity to spread everywhere. Nonetheless, it is evergreen here and forms a usefully dense screen of glossy green leaves – and I am always grateful for its very attractive flowers.

They are rich in nectar and so attract bees and butterflies as well as a number of nectar-feeding birds. Two I have managed to photograph are the Double-collared Sunbird:

Another is a Cape White-eye:

Despite its unruly, rampant growth, the Cape Honeysuckle is drought resistant and so is a welcome inhabitant in our garden, both in the sun and in areas of semi-shade. It is always a delight to see buds forming as they are the forerunners of a blaze of colour, often when we need it most!

NOTE: Click on a photograph if you wish a larger view.

19 thoughts on “CAPE HONEYSUCKLE

  1. Love it!! There is a red bush in my garden that has been flowering for some time which gets a lot of love from the Collared Sunbirds. This reminds me of that. I wonder if honeysuckle will grow here in Mozambique!?


  2. We’ve had a yellow variety in our little garden for 5 years and six months ago I also planted an orange-flowered specimen. I love that they grow so wild and leave them to it – the more they screen off of the neighbours the better – as well as the amount of insects and birds they bring to the garden.


  3. Ek is lief vir Kaapse kanferfoelie. Ek het twee kleure in my tuin en hulle blom steeds. Die suikerbekkies boer daar. Baie dankie vir die pragtige foto’s en inligting, Anne. Altyd lekker om op jou blog te kuier.


    • whose energy, though it has to be held in check, relentlessly– and thankfully– produces bright flowers in their parents garden, and in ours. (Just returned from a family visit. They live in southern California, where all kinds of flowers abound in nature, as in backyards and elementary schools.)


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