Pink blossoms of Tabebuia rosea

Tabebuia rosea is native to Central and South America and is popularly planted along roadsides and as a garden ornamental plant. In Malaysia, Tabebuia is also known as the “Cherry Blossoms of Penang” after its pink flowers which are much like the cherry blossoms of Japan. There are two colors of Tabebuia rosea often planted in Malaysia, which is the pink and white varieties. The species name “rosea” means pink in Latin, referring to its pinkish flowers . Other local nicknames for the plant include “tissue paper tree”, referring to its thin petals. The tree is also known as ipê rosa in South American countries.

Tabebuia requires a distinct dry season in order to burst into bloom. In FRIM the large tree in front of FRIM’s main administrative building (D2) is flowering during the last week of May. In FRIM there is also a Tabebuia ochracea tree near building D3. The tree bloomed its yellow flowers during the last week of January 2012.

* All pictures by Asmar Hassan except leaf picture by Azahari Mohd. Yussof.

Tabebuia pretty pink flowers.
T. pentaphylla in front of FRIM's main administrative building (D2).
The specific name of pentaphylla comes from the Latin

Tabebuia rosea started to flower again during the first week of April 2013. Picture by Asmar H.


Tabebuia rosea in front of FRIM’s main administrative building (D2).


A T. rosea leaf is formed by five palmately arranged leaflets.