Tabernaemontana divaricata is probably native to India and is one of my favourite plants in the garden. It flowers 365 days in the year, is fairly drought tolerant, not fussy about soil, and can be allowed to grow into a tree or pruned and kept small. It prefers to grow in a cool shady area, but also does well in full sun, needing a little water. It is seldom attacked by any dudu.
Tabernaemontana coronaria is possibly native to India. It is a fast growing plant that can be pruned it to achieve the size or shape required. It is easy plant to grow and will thrive in most places in the garden, not being fussy about soil condition. Preferring to grow in the shade, it also does fairly well in full sun, though the leaves may lose some of their lustre. It is drought tolerant.
It has large shiny, deep green leaves and double flowers, resembling a small sized gardenia, even having a faint scent. The down side of this plantis that, unlike its sister Tabernaemontana divaricata, it is very reluctant to flower and so has just about been banished from my garden.
Tagetes, better known as Marigold, is native to North and South America but some varieties have become naturalized around the world, even considered as invasive weeds. It was first described as a genus by Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), who laid the foundations for the modern biological naming scheme in 1753.
The name Tagetes can be confusing and, whilst I am sure most gardeners think of them as Marigolds, they are all Tagetes. They grow well at the coast and add a touch of brightness to what might otherwise be dull corners. During the hot dry season they are best grown in pots or tubs but, during the rains and cooler periods, sow the seeds directly into the soil. The seeds germinate easily and in no time there is a wonderful display. Watch out for red spider mite and leaf miner.
Tagetes erecta: African marigolds which tend to be tall.
Tagetes patula: French tend to be dwarf
Tagetes tenuifolia: Daisy flowering marigolds
Tagetese minuta: is the source of “tagetes oil”.
Tecomanthe dendrophila is native to Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand and the Solomon Islands, though it is now threatened in parts of New Zealand.
It is a robust and easy to grow plant, doing well at the coast and in rather poor soil. Fairly drought resistant, it is a strong woody climber that needs support to ramble over. It blooms on old wood so pruning should be kept to a minimum. It is not troubled by dudus. Propagation by cuttings is easy.
Thumbergia erecta is an easy plant to grow, it is not at all fussy about soil, and is fairly drought tolerant. It flowers well most of the year. It can be grown as a small informal hedge, it is aid to like climbing, I have not found that to be so. Up dated 18/06/2017
Thumbergia kirkii is indigenous to Kenya and a friendly plant to have in the garden. It is fairly drought tolerant, grows well in full sun but prefers light shade. If left un- pruned it will grow quite large. I grew this plant for the foliage so, when it came into flower, that was a plus. It is easy propagated by cuttings.
Tigridia pavonia is native to Mexico. This is a bulbous plant that grows well at the coast. The bulbs are best planted in containers with rich loamy compost and good drainage. Feed whilst they are growing, and give them a half day of sun. Once they have flowered let the plants die back in their own time, they will spring back when the rains return. The flowers are quite exotic with vibrant colours, only lasting a day, but more follow.
Tillandsias or Air plants are native to the tropical regions of the Americas. They were named by Carolus Linnaeus to honour Dr. Elias Tillands, a Finno-Swedish botanist and physician (1640-1693). The Tillandsia is the largest ‘group’ of plants in the Bromeliacea family and there are between 550 and 650 different species.
Tillandsias are epiphytes and, in the wild, they are usually found high in the canopy of the trees. As a general rule, the thinner leafed varieties grow in rainy areas and the thick-leafed varieties grow in more arid areas. Tillandsias root are used to attach the plant to the host, where it can grow and absorb moisture and nutrients, using their trichomes. To save water, some Tillandsia take up carbon dioxide at night (called CAM respiration), opening their stomata (tiny opening or pores used for gas exchange) during the night instead of the more usual daytime opening.
Tillandsias are fairly drought resistant. They just need to be dunked into water once a week, especially during the hottest time of the year, though misting is also a help. It is best to water Tillandsias in the morning, giving them plenty of time to absorb water before the heat of the day. They should never ‘go to bed’ with wet feet. When watering, make sure there is enough warmth in the air to dry the plants off before sundown. Tillandsias don’t require fertilizing but ¼ strength water soluble fertilizers once a month will encourage the plants to bloom. Like other Bromeliads, Tillandsias throw up offshoots that are called “pups” and these can be used start more plants or let grow with the mother to increase the clump.
Tillandsia cyanea is native to the rainforests of Ecuador. The name is from the Latin cyanea meaning ‘blue’, referring to the purple-violet colour of the flowers. Tillandsia cyanea can be grown in a pot if preferred. The mixture should be loose and be well draining. It does best with morning or afternoon sun.
Tillandsia lindenii. looks very similar but has a taller flowering stalk.
Tillandsia usneoides or Spanish Moss, is native to much of South America, and the West Indies. It grows, without roots, hanging from tree branches in full sun or dappled shade, absorbing all it requires to grow from the air and rain. If it is looked after well, it will multiply and produce tiny inconspicuous flowers.
Tradescantia was named after Charles I senior gardener, John Tradescant. He introduced this plant to England from Virginia (USA). The plants are invaluable in the garden as they put up with poor soil, tolerate dry conditions, and are a first-rate ground cover. Because they multiply so fast they are an excellent addition to the compost heap.
Tradescantia pallida has intense purple leaves. It requires full sun for the best colouring but it is not very drought tolerant. Keep well pinched otherwise it becomes straggly.
Tradescantia spathacea has so many names it is confusing. When grown well as a specimen plant with the purple underside, it is quite beautiful. The leaves break easily so place the plants out of the way of passing traffic. It grows so easily, it can be used to fill spaces in full sun or shade.
Tradescantia spathacea ‘Dwarf’
Tradescantia spathacea ‘Dwarf’ grows anywhere and does not become too tall. This is a ‘sterile’ plant, and does not flower but it reproduces faster than Tradescantia spathace so, when it becomes over crowded, thin it out and use the thinnings for compost.
Trimezia steyermarkii is native to southern Mexico. It is a very hardy plant that will put up with poor soil, no water and still survive. The plant has light green strap leaves and a rather insignificant yellow flower. These only last a day but more follow. Its common name is“Walking Iris” and this is apt because it seems to do just that. Once the flower is over, a small plantlet grows in its place. The weight of this growing plant bends the stalk until it reaches the ground and the plantlet roots itself. Soon the whole garden is a mass of Trimezia steyermarkii and then they can be difficult to remove.
Tristellateia australasiae grows so well in the garden and flowers continuously. It is a strong grower and can be used as a screen, or a hedge. It is not fussy about soil and it is drought tolerant. It does best in full sun, having fewer flowers in shade. Not many dudus are attracted to the plant, although we had a caterpillar attack ours. As there were not enough to make the plant look unsightly we left them feast. Propagates easily by seeds or cuttings.
Tulbaghia violacea is native to South Africa, and is named after Ryk Tullbagh (1699 – 1771) who was the Governor of the Dutch Cape Colony (1751- 1771). Tulbaghia violacea is a fast growing bulbous plant with a strong aroma of garlic. Some can’t stand the smell and will not have the plant in the garden. This is a pity as the flower, which likes to grow in full sun, is most attractive and blooms over a long period. Under plant the bulbs with other plants. Whilst Tulbaghia is dormant, there is something else to see; once the rains come, these little jewels will pop up.
Turnera ulmifolia is a small shrub that grows in the garden. It is another plant that we term a weed and let grow only where it is wanted. It is about the most invasive of all our ‘weedy friends’, growing through the ‘galana’ paths, and other places where nothing else could survive. The small yellow, aromatic flowers only last for the morning.