Friday, September 22, 2006

Peacock Flower
Caesalpinia pulcherrima
(ses-al-PIN-ee-uh) (pul-KAIR-ih-muh)

This plant seems to have several synonyms. It is probably the most colorful plant I saw blooming this time of year in Las Vegas. It has a bit of an ungainly habit but the flowers make up for this. Depending on your zone it can get quite tall but 4 to 6 feet seems about average. It is easy to grow from seeds and cuttings and is drought tolerant. I saw it growing in Florida in some harsh soil conditions, really sandy and dry. The flower is quite intricate when viewed up close and very colorful when viewed from afar. The foliage is bipinnate and is an attractive green. The seeds are a 3 to 6 inch long pod. There are some 70 species of Caesalpinia, and this is the most widely planted.

(Synonyms: Barbados pride, dwarf poinciana, Barbados flower-fence)

“The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives”
Gertrude Jekyll

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