Visit us on:
Pride of Barbados
Pride of Barbados, Caesalpinia pulcherrima is a member of the pea family (Fabaceae). It is referred to by other names including Barbados Flowerfence, Peacock Flower, Mexican Bird of Paradise, Dwarf Flamboyan, Caesalpinia, and Dwarf Poinciana. The species name pulcherrima literally means “very pretty” and this plant definitely lives up to the name. The blooms of Pride of Barbados are incredible with terminal flower clusters showing an orange-red with a tinge of gold on the edges. Each flower is composed of five showy petals with very prominent six inch long red stamens.
Pride of Barbados is an evergreen shrub or small tree in frost free climates, a deciduous shrub in zone 9, and a returning perennial in zone 8.
The stem, branches and petioles are armed with sharp spines and the leaves are fernlike and twice compound, with many small, oval leaflets. Pride of Barbados flower lives up to its name with incredibly showy blossoms of orange and red. The flowers are bowl shaped, 2-3″ across, with five crinkled, unequal red and orange petals, and ten prominent bright red stamens that extend way beyond the corolla. The flowers are borne in terminal clusters 8-10″ tall throughout most of the year in tropical climates and in late summer and fall where frosts occur. There also are forms with yellow and forms with dark red flowers. The fruits, typical legumes, are flat, 3-4″ long, and when ripe they split open noisily to expose the little brown beans.
Pride of Barbados is believed to be native to the West Indies and tropical America. It is widely cultivated and has escaped cultivation and become established in tropical regions throughout the world, including South Florida. Look for the dwarf compact selection named Dwarf Poinciana, Pride of Barbados.
Copyright ©2018 Allen Garden Club