A beautiful plant with an unusual name

  • The slightly drooping blossom-laden branches of the ‘Oompa Loompa’ give it a graceful form in the garden or a container. (Diana Duff/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • The seeds of “Oompa Loompa” have a thin film around them which helps them disperse on the wind. (ndgbotanicals.comvia Diana Duff/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • The bright green color and serrated edges of the “Oompa Loompa” leaves add to the plant’s charm. ( wikimedia.org via Diana Duff/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • The beautiful orange bells of the "Oompa Loompa" make it a striking addition to a garden. (lsuagcenter.com via Diana Duff/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • The beautiful orange bells of the “Oompa Loompa” make it a striking addition to a garden. (Diana Duff/Special to West Hawaii Today)

Those of us who hunt nurseries for interesting plants, occasionally come across something new to us that is lovely. I recently found a beautiful plant with bright orange tubular flowers and a most unusual name. “Oompa Loompa” is a hybridized cultivar of Tecoma stans to which the botanical name Tecoma x smithii is sometimes assigned. William Watson of London first described this hybrid in 1893. It has taken more than 100 years of cultivation, to select qualities that are into this cultivar that now has a funny name.