Desert Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Desert Bird of Paradise
Give a thumbs up Yellow Bird of Paradise
Give a thumbs up Bird Of Paradise

Botanical names:
Caesalpinia gilliesii Accepted
Erythrostemon gilliesii Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 8a -12.2 °C (10 °F) to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height: 5-10 feet
Plant Spread: 4-6 feet
Leaves: Semi-evergreen
Flowers: Showy
Fragrant
Blooms on new wood
Flower Color: Bi-Color: Yellow and red
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Dynamic Accumulator: Nitrogen fixer
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Butterflies
Hummingbirds
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Propagation: Seeds: Provide light
Start indoors
Can handle transplanting
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Tip
Pollinators: Various insects

Image

Photo gallery:
Location: Patagonia AZ, roadside.Date: 2011-05-28
By _Bleu_
Give a thumbs up
Location: Albuquerque, NM Zone 7bDate: 6.3.20caesalpinia gilliesii stamans
By nmoasis
Give a thumbs up
Location: In a front lawn near NW 48th and Military in OkCDate: 2006Desert Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) 005
By jathton
Give a thumbs up
Location: Jacksonville, TX Tropical garden, south facingDate: 2012-04-25
By Trish
Give a thumbs up
Location: Albuquerque, NM Zone 7bDate: 6.13.20New seed pods, caesalpinia gilliesii
By nmoasis
Give a thumbs up
Location: In a front lawn near NW 48th and Military in OkCDate: 2006Desert Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) 001
By jathton
Give a thumbs up
Location: In a front lawn near NW 48th and Military in OkCDate: 2006Desert Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) 002
By jathton
Give a thumbs up
Location: Albuquerque, NM Zone 7bDate: 6.3.20caesalpinia gilliesii leaves, backlit
By nmoasis
Give a thumbs up
Location: Albuquerque, NM Zone 7bDate: 7.18.20The pods snap and twist open, expelling seeds
By nmoasis
Give a thumbs up
Location: Albuquerque, NM Zone 7bDate: 7.17.20Popped seed pod remaining on plant
By nmoasis
Give a thumbs up
Location: Jacksonville, TX Tropical garden, south facingDate: 2012-04-25
By Trish
Give a thumbs up
Location: Denver Botanic GardensDate: 2012-08-29Bean Family Caesalpinia gilliesii Bird of Paradise Argentina
By CDsSister
Give a thumbs up
Location: In my Mom's gardenDate: 2007-05-07
By Calif_Sue
Give a thumbs up
Location: In a front lawn near NW 48th and Military in OkCDate: 2006Desert Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) 003
By jathton
Give a thumbs up
Location: My front yard N Watauga TXDate: 2012-04-04
By Debnes
Give a thumbs up
Location: My front yard, N Watauga TXDate: 2012-04-04Close up
By Debnes
Give a thumbs up
Location: Denver Botanic GardensDate: 2012-08-25Bloom of Bird of Paradise from Argentina
By CDsSister
Give a thumbs up
Location: Denver Botanic GardensDate: 2012-08-29Identification tag for Bean Fam Caesalpinia gilliesii Bird of Par
By CDsSister
Give a thumbs up
Location: Jacksonville, TX
By dave
Give a thumbs up
Location: Jacksonville, TXDate: 2014-06-21
By dave
Give a thumbs up
Location: My houseDate: 2017-01-21Am growing this desert bird of paradise from seed
By Agoo
Give a thumbs up
Location: Ljubak coast, CroatiaDate: 2017-05-27
By cwhitt
Give a thumbs up
Location: Ljubak coast, CroatiaDate: 2017-05-25
By cwhitt
Give a thumbs up
Location: In a front lawn near NW 48th and Military in OkCDate: 2006Desert Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) 003
By jathton
Give a thumbs up
Location: Albuquerque, NM Zone 7bDate: 7.28.20First true leaves just appearing
By nmoasis
Give a thumbs up
Location: Albuquerque, NM Zone 7bDate: 7.18.20Ripe seedpod, popped seedpod, seeds
By nmoasis
Give a thumbs up
Location: My front yard, N Watauga TXDate: 2012-04-04Amazingly showy blooms
By Debnes
Give a thumbs up
Location: Goldthwaite, TXDate: 2012-04-18
By patrob
Give a thumbs up
Location: Goldthwaite, TXDate: 2012-04-18
By patrob
Give a thumbs up
Location: Goldthwaite, TXDate: 2012-04-18
By patrob
Give a thumbs up
Location: Jacksonville, TXDate: 2013-06-23Stink Bugs attacking the seed pods.
By dave
Give a thumbs up
Image
By turini
Give a thumbs up
Location: My back yardDate: 2017-07-09This was started from seed
By Agoo
Give a thumbs up

Comments:
Posted by Katie (Jacksonville, TX - Zone 8a) on Jun 24, 2013 10:52 AM

This is a very pretty plant, but it attracts stink bugs. The stink bugs cause the seed pods to prematurely dry.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by nmoasis (Albuquerque, New Mexico - Zone 7b) on Jul 30, 2020 9:46 PM

This plant is hardy in zone 7b. It is a desert plant and needs no irrigation, but will welcome a drink occasionally. It has several interesting features: The yellow flowers with red stamens look almost tropical. The ripe seed pods split in half with an audible SNAP and it flings seeds up to 30 feet away. The twisted, spiraled pods litter the ground and some stay on the plant. It continues to produce new flowers while throwing seeds. The seeds start sprouting the following summer wherever they land. This plant is basically a weed where I live in New Mexico and it grows fast on a single trunk, but if cut at the base in fall it re-emerges with multiple trunks. I'll usually let one grow for a few years then dig it out, letting others come up in different places as I choose. It does not have a pleasant smell. Not recommended for the manicured garden, but is a fast, flashy filler for difficult dry spots.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by Trish (Jacksonville, TX - Zone 8a) on Apr 29, 2012 7:13 PM

Yellow flowers with red stamens.
Low water needs once established.
Nitrogen fixer.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by CDsSister (Greenwood Village, CO - Zone 5b) on Aug 29, 2012 7:33 PM

What an interesting plant: the bloom, the leaves, and the fruit.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by jathton (Oklahoma City, OK) on Nov 1, 2019 2:16 PM

Both this plant database and the Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder database list this plant as hardy to zone 8. The MBG database does, however, say it might be hardy in zone 7 if planted in a protected location.

It should be pointed out that at least 5 specimens of this plant have been growing in Oklahoma City gardens for many years. They do, of course, die to the ground in winter... but they all return very vigorously each spring. The two I am most familiar with grow into 5x5 foot specimens each year and bloom prolifically.

All of the photos I have loaded to this location are of a plant growing in Oklahoma City [zone 7a.]

[ 1 reply | Give a thumbs up ]

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Photo of Caesalpinia on wrong page? by nmoasis Jul 13, 2020 1:46 PM 0
Fall Bloomers by Bubbles Oct 18, 2017 3:17 PM 15
What is this plant? by Jnn Aug 18, 2016 2:30 AM 4
Repotting Pride of Barbados by chris1948 Dec 26, 2019 8:17 PM 25
Cactus and Succulent chat 2016 by gg5 Apr 11, 2017 11:52 AM 1,827
anxious to know the name of the plant by Jaykeller2 Aug 26, 2015 5:44 PM 4
(Caesalpinia gilliesii)aka: (Erythrostemon gilliesii); in Santa Fe by Anderwood Jun 13, 2015 9:11 PM 6
Nicking seeds by needrain Mar 4, 2015 10:47 PM 21
First Wave of Seeds! by Xeramtheum Jan 29, 2015 5:49 PM 21
First Wave of WS Seeds by Xeramtheum Feb 7, 2015 7:10 AM 279
Who is saving seeds this fall? by mom2goldens Oct 21, 2014 12:53 PM 100

« Add a new plant to the database

« The Plants Database Front Page

Today's site banner is by touchofsky and is called "Tulipa 'Little Beauty'"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.