Caesalpinia pulcherrima is a species of flowering plant in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is native to the tropics and subtropics of the Americas. Its exact origin is unknown due to widespread cultivation. Common names for this species include Poinciana, Peacock Flower, Red Bird of Paradise, Mexican Bird of Paradise, Dwarf Poinciana, Pride of Barbados, and flamboyan-de-jardin.
C. pulcherrima is the most widely cultivated species in the genus Caesalpinia. It is a striking ornamental plant, widely grown in domestic and public gardens and has a beautiful inflorescence in yellow, red and orange. Its small size and the fact that it tolerates pruning well allows it to be planted in groups to form a hedgerow; it can be also used to attract hummingbirds.
Red Bird of Paradise is the national flower of the Caribbean island of Barbados, and is depicted on the Queen’s personal Barbadian flag.
Shrub, nearly 2 m in height, branches sometimes slightly prickly. Leaves bipinnate, 10-45 cm long, pinnae 4-12 pairs, opposite, c. 7.5 cm long. Leaflets 1.2-1.3 cm long, 3-7 mm broad. Flowers in erect terminal raceme, variously orange yellow and red coloured, often claw red, centre of limb crimson, red or golden red. Filaments very long, bright red. Pod 5-7.5 cm long c. 1.7 cm broad, straight.
(From EOL, 1 March 2011)