Plants: Caesalpinia pulcherrima - Mexican Red Bird of Paradise

Posted by 04.12. 2007 11:31:07 (27541 readers)

Caesalpinia pulcherrima - Mexican Red Bird of Paradise

Mexican Red Bird of Paradise flower is an evergreen shrub or small tree in frost free climates. In the tropics it gets 15-20'. In cultivation peacock flower is usually 8-12' tall, growing that large even after freezing to the ground the previous winter. Mexican Red Bird of Paradise 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 throughout most of the year in tropical climates and in late summer and fall where frosts occur.

Location
Mexican Red Bird of Paradise flower is believed to be native to the West Indies and tropical America. It is widely cultivated.

Culture
Mexican Red Bird of Paradise flower is very easy to grow in alkaline to acidic, well-drained soils. This is a fast growing plant. It is moderately tolerant of salty conditions. Mexican Red Bird of Paradise flower benefits from pruning, and can be shaped to tree form or shrubby bush form.

Light: Full sun to partial shade. Mexican Red Bird of Paradise flower blooms best in full sun.

Moisture: Mexican Red Bird of Paradise flower is drought tolerant. Hardiness: USDA Zones 8 - 11. Peacock flower dies to the ground following frost or freezing temperatures, but in zone 8B, at least, it comes back reliable. Mexican Red Bird of Paradise flower has survived temperatures as low as 18 F. It can be grown as an annual in colder climates.

Propagation: Mexican Red Bird of Paradise flower is easy to start from seeds. Germination will be speeded up if the seeds are nicked with a file before planting.

Publisher: Hirt's Gardens
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