Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Royal Poinciana Blooms!

In February 2002, we planted this Royal Poinciana, Delonix regia, tree in our Shade Garden. Each spring, when these tropical beauties are sporting vibrant orange-red flowers, ours has let me down - until this year! I think it's already pretty beautiful - but there are LOTS more buds to open. Royal Poinciana, native to Madagascar, is deciduous. It's one of the last trees to leaf-out. A freeze and Christmas Eve snow in 2004 nipped it back some. But this is a fast growing tree - you can expect it to put on about 5 feet a year. Mature height is 30-40 feet. Many trees I notice are wider than they are tall.
The blooms are so high up, it's hard to get a good picture of the flowers - but you can see all the dark round buds on these clusters.

I never realized how large each individual flower is - about 3 inches in length. This tree is grown from seed - and the seed pods are quite impressive too - it's a hard dark seed pod that I would guess measures at least nine inches. If you look close you can see some pods on this picture. Our Royal Poinciana is putting on such a beautiful show that I've forgiven her for making us wait seven long years for our first flower.


Jan said...

Very lovely flowers, and I like the vibrant color. It does seem to be worth the long wait.

Always Growing

Liisa said...

Mary Beth,
What a beautiful tree! I will enjoy visits to your blog, and seeing some things that I just can't plant here in my zone 4 garden. Argh! Darn zone envy!! :)

Mary Beth said...

JAN - The color is so very vibrant - the warm color fits perfectly in our tropical landscape. I can just see the tree over the rooftop when I drive in from work. It's such a welcoming sight!

LIISA - Yep, but there are lots of things we can't grow - and my the end of July every thing is droopy from the heat.