Caesalpinia pulcherrima

  • Easy to grow in alkaline to acidic, well-drained soils
  • These plants prefer full sun to partial shade
  • Can reach heights of 8″ to 12″ and 6″ to 10″ wide
  • Considered drought tolerant once established

Pride of Barbados is an evergreen shrub or small tree in frost free climates, a deciduous shrub in zone 9 (Rio Grande Valley), a returning perennial in zone 8 (South Central Texas–San Antonio), and an annual in North and West Texas.

Pride–of–Barbados dies to the ground following frost or freezing temperatures, but in zone 8b (South central Texas) it comes back reliably in middle spring. They have survived temperatures as low as 18°F. The plant is usually tall, growing large even after freezing to the ground the previous winter. Can reach heights of 8 to 12 feet and 6 to 10 feet wide.

The leaves are fern-like. Pride–of–Barbados has incredibly showy blossoms of orange and red. The individual flowers are bowl shaped, 2–3 inches across, with five crinkled, unequal red and orange petals, and ten prominent bright red stamens. Individual flowers are borne in large terminal panicles from mid to late summer (depending on size of transplant used) and fall.

It is a fast growing plant especially when the temperatures are hot and in full sun to partial shade (it blooms best in full sun). It is moderately tolerant of salty conditions and is extremely drought tolerant. The striking orange red flowers are an attention grabber!

Common Names:  Red Bird of Paradise, Dwarf Poinciana, Peacock Flower, Dwarf Poinciana


Caesalpinia gilliesii

TEXAS BIRD OF PARADISE –  A hardy perennial from Argentina, the Yellow Bird of Paradise has naturalized in Texas. The plant offers exotic blooms of long (5 to 7 inch) yellow petals accented by longer protruding bright red stamens. The blooms take up to 4 hours to open and begin in the afternoon. Once open, that flower only lasts for one day. Yellow Bird of Paradise will die to the ground at the first freeze but will return in spring, therefore, it is grown as a bush. It is both drought and heat tolerant. Attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Common name: Yellow Bird of Paradise, Desert Bird of Paradise