The Q&A Archives: Mexican Bird of Paradise

Question: I am looking for a plant known as a

Answer: The botanical name for Red Bird of Paradise is Caesalpinia pulcherrima. Many people refer to this red and orange version as the Mexican Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia mexicana) which actually has all yellow flowers. The Red Bird of Paradise is an evergreen shrub that enjoys full sun and has bright yellow flowers, with orange and red centers that grow out of long, thin stalks. The leaves are ferny-looking. The Red Bird of Paradise is a fairly fast grower, and can get large, so periodic trimming is suggested. These are desert plants, better adapted to zones 9, 10 and 11 so it will be marginal in your San Bernardino garden (because of wet winter weather), and therefore difficult to find in nurseries and garden centers. However, you may be able to find one by phoning local nurseries specializing in desert plants (or taking a drive to Arizona where it grows everywhere!).

Best wishes with your garden!

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