Tecomaria capensis is almost always a shrub, but said to sometimes be a tree, for which it even has been given a number on the list of South African trees (SA Tree List No. 673.1). The plant is found on the South African south and east coasts as well as in parts of the Lowveld and Mozambique. The capensis specific adjective stems from the first description of the plant, at the time associated with the southern end of its distribution area.
The species was found to escape and invade bushveld a little in the Magaliesberg. This yellow flowering form of the plant was seen in a Gauteng garden. Foliage is as dense and lush as this unless the plant suffers severe drought stress.
There is a related genus called Tecoma comprising some South American species, distinguished from the about 5 African Tecomaria species. T. capensis is, however, still sometimes called Tecoma capensis as well. The two genera are believed to share a common ancestor. Only T. capensis grows naturally in southern Africa (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Riley, 1963; Letty, 1962).