Look up. The brilliant blue skies we’re seeing in Lakeland lately are punctuated with bright yellow blossoms of tabebuia trees that have been planted around the city. If you need help locating tabebuias, there’s even a Facebook page for that.
Don’t wait too long to check them out; the blossoms, which typically appear in Lakeland in February or March, usually last only about a week.
The tab is a very colorful tree that is perfect for use in roadway medians or use in a yard,” said Brian Dick, assistant parks superintendent for the city of Lakeland. “They will tolerate a wide range of soil conditions and moisture conditions. Some varieties of tabs are tropical so they must be researched before choosing a variety suitable for your yard.”
The tabebuia tree, also known as the golden trumpet tree, is native to the American tropics and subtropics from Mexico and the Caribbean to Argentina. They average 15-25 feet tall but can reach up to 50 feet tall.
Most in Lakeland are yellow, but some are pink.
A Facebook page called The Tabebuia Trail was created by community activist Mike Maguire to help Lakelanders locate these trees. “I made this page because [tabebuia trees] may the most beautiful version of yellow in all of nature,” Maguire said.
The page includes links to a Google map showing locations of some of the trees around the city. It also includes photos Maguire has received from other local tabebuia enthusiasts during the past year. Maguire asks people to email pictures and addresses or GPS coordinates so that he can add them to the map.
Maguire explained that there was once a notion to have the city plant them around Lake Morton and other accessible places to mimic the cherry blossom festivals in Washington and other cities. But the idea was discarded because the blooming period is brief and random.
“I still believe they are an attractor for Lakeland and people will come to see them. Maybe The Tabebuia Trail will help,” Maguire said.