Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Striking "Pride of Barbados" Flower

In the genus Cæsalpinia the most popularly planted species is Cæsalpinia pulcherrima. 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. It is a shrub growing to 3 m tall, native to tropical America. The leaves are bipinnate, 20-40 cm long, bearing 3-10 pairs of pinnae, each with 6-10 pairs of leaflets 15-25 mm long and 10-15 mm broad. The flowers are borne in racemes up to 20 cm long, each flower with five yellow, orange or red petals. The fruit is a pod 6-12 cm long.

It is a striking ornamental plant, widely grown in tropical gardens. It is also the national flower of the Caribbean island of Barbados, and is depicted on the Queen's personal Barbadian flag.

It is also found in many parts of India, known by the names Krishnachura or Radhachura (Bengali), Guletura (Hindi), Kenjige (Kannada), Settimandaram (Malayalam), Krishnachura (Manipuri), Sankasur (Marathi), Krishnochuda (Oriya), Sidhakya (Sanskrit), Mayurkonrai (Tamil), Ratnagandhi (Telugu). It is also known to Philippines as Caballero used as medicinal plant. It is commonly planted as an ornamental shrub 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.


See also: Gift Basket, Flowers Barbados, Flower Arrangements

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