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Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Royal Poinciana©

The Royal Poinciana's (Delonix regia) displays an intense red canopy of peacock-like flowers. It ignites the sky with flames of red and scarlet which accounts for its nicknames "Flame tree" and “Flamboyant.” In Spanish it is sometimes referred to as Arbol de Fuego (Tree of Fire). Virtually everyone falls in love with this tropical tree at first sight and some consider it the world's most colorful tree. This magnificent tree has consistently been voted among the top five most beautiful flowering trees in the world.

A native of Madagascar, this spectacular s tree is widely cultivated in Eretz Yisrael, for in addition to its ornamental value, its dense foliage provides full shade. It can be seen adorning avenues, parks, and gardens in many cities throughout the Land. Known as Tzehilan in Hebrew, it is not as common in Jerusalem since it prefers warmer frost-free climates

The Royal Poinciana is a member of the bean family (Leguminosae). Because it is a legume, the tree has nitrogen-fixating and soil-improving properties. The tree may reach 30-40 ft (9.1-12.2 m) in height, and its graceful, wide-spreading canopy can be wider than its elevation. The adult tree picks up its drooping branches to create a high umbrella, and the older the Royal Poinciana, the more intensely it will bloom.

For several weeks in spring and summer, the tree is covered with exuberant clusters of riotous flame-red flowers that are 4-5 inches (1.2-12.7 cm) across. Each individual flower is large and striking: it has four spoon-shaped scarlet or orange-red petals about 3 inches (7.6 cm - 8 cm) long, and a fifth upright, slightly larger petal, which is spotted with yellow and white, called the standard. Another variety of the Royal Poinciana has golden-yellow flowers. Whatever the color of the flowers, the trees are tare reputed to produce bee forage.

Its leaves are lacy and fern-like, and the pods are reddish dark brown to almost black when ripe. Pods are flat and woody, up to 24 inches (61 cm) long and 2 inches (5.1 cm) wide. However, seeds are small, weighing around 0.4 grams on the average, and they are occasionally used as beads. They contain gum used in textile and food industries, and the bark of the tree has medicinal properties

With shallow root systems and wood that is weak, the trees are liable to being uprooted during strong storms and broken by strong winds. Another drawback is the surface root system, which sometimes breaks through  sidewalks and walls. It can be a threat to building foundations and sidewalks.

For about two months in the cold of winter the, Royal Poinciana is deciduous allowing the welcome sun's rays to penetrate, and in early spring, leaves come back to screen the sun.  In May or June, the voluminous red blooms appear and will typically hold for four to ten weeks. You can propagate Royal Poinciana from semi-ripe tip cuttings taken in summer. Seedlings will vary in flower characteristics and may take ten or more years to flower.
The Royal Poinciana is grown in IndiaBurmaJamaicaNigeriaBorneoSouth AfricaEgyptTanzania, and Uganda. You can find it in southern Florida, including the Florida Keys, southern CaliforniaBermudaMexicoBrazil, and throughout the West Indies. It is also very widely grown in the Caribbean, Northern Australia, HongKong, the Canary Islands, Cyprus, Thailand, Taiwan, and southern China.
Published in the "English Update"

1 comment:

  1. it grows in dubai also huge flowers in the summer july this is a very nice tree.