Tabebuia bahamensis

White dwarf tabebuia. A woody medium-sized shrub with dark green leaves and clusters of the Tabebuia’s characteristic trumpet-shaped flowers. Borne most of the year, these flowers are white flushed with lavender. They have orange stripes down their powdery yellow lower throats, and T-shaped stamens press against their upper throats. The buds are lavender-pink. The shrub can grow to a height of 1.8 m. It likes the full sun, and an average amount of water. Propagated from seeds, by marcotting, and from cuttings.

Tacca chantrieri

Bat plant. The almost black flowers of this plant are surrounded by large purple-black bracts with long thin appendages. The glossy green leaves grow in a clump. According to Warren, the bat plant likes filtered sunlight, protection from heavy rain and rich, moist, well-drained soil. Propagation is by root division or from seed. One gardener advised me to leave the flower stems at the foot of the plant when they fall and to allow the berries to germinate. The Tacca’s root is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat gastric ulcer, high blood pressure, hepatitis and burns. I love the ‘flowers’ of this plant (bracts and flowers); they would be quite flamboyant if they were not so dark.

Tecomaria capensis (Tecomia capensis)

Cape honeysuckle. Love and devotion. 5 at P150. Sprawling plant which, if left, unpruned puts out long stems and becomes almost a vine. Usually kept clipped. Has frequent displays of long, tubular bright orange flowers at stem ends. Spreads by means of underground roots that can become invasive. A native of South Africa, it needs well-drained soil and prefers the full sun. It flowers best in slightly cooler climates. It is propagated from seeds, cuttings, or branches that root when they lie on the ground.

Tecoma stans

Yellow bells, Yellow trumpet tree. 1 at P300. Tall erect shrub from tropical America. Can be pruned to become a small tree. Regularly produces large clusters of bright yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers. Flowers are followed by stringbean-like pods which split open to release seeds with transparent wings on each end. It has bright green opposite leaves, which are pinnately compound with 1-9 (usually 3-7) pointed oval leaflets with sharply toothed edges. Grows quite rapidly, developing within a few months into an attractive plant useful for screening or in mixed beds. To make a bushier shrub and promote new flushes of flowers, branches should be cut back after flowering. Needs full sun and likes well-drained soil.

Thunbergia erecta

Thunbergia. 1 at P100.Shrub. Native to tropical East Africa. This sprawling shrub was Introduced to the Philippines in 1950s. It has rich violet flowers with yellow throats. Blooms continuously throughout the year. It responds well to regular pruning. It likes the full fun and well-drained soil, but it will bloom in partial shade. Propagated from cuttings.

Tillandsia usneoides I

Buhok ni Ester, Florida moss, long moss. According to Madulid this is an epiphytic bromeliad with silver grey, threadlike hanging stems growing to 2 m or longer. The leaves are scattered, narrow and up to 7 cm long. It bears small solitary flowers. It is a native to tropical American and thrives in partial shade.

Tristellateia australasiae

Galphinia vine; Maiden’s jealousy. 1 at P50. This climber from Malaysia and Australia has bright yellow, star-shaped flowers with red stamens in sprays that appear almost all the time. Grows quickly and makes a decorative covering for a garden fence or trellis. Prefers a sunny location and needs regular fertilizing. Propagation by means of cuttings or seeds, which are produced freely. My plant has taken almost a year to take off: by March 24 2004, it still has one main stem, but it is flowering fairly well; has several flowering stems now (19 April 2004). It seems that once this plant begins to flower, it flowers non-stop (it is now May 2005 and it is still flowering profusely).

Turnera trioniflora

Sundrop. White turnera. 20 at P10. Shrub. In the morning this Turnera produces masses of five-lobed pale yellow flowers that are dark violet and yellow around the yellow stamens; the flowers close towards noon. The dark green leaves are ovate with serrated margins. Grows to 40-60 cm in sun or partial shade. Needs to be watered regularly, but not over-watered. Propagation by stem cuttings. Photo: Leni Sutcliffe. My plants obviously do not like the dark shade they now find themselves in.