Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit:Shrub
Life cycle:Perennial
Sun Requirements:Full Sun to Partial Shade
Minimum cold hardiness:Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone:Zone 11
Plant Height:3-10 feet
Plant Spread:3-10 feet
Fruit:Other: 3 inch to 4 inch long flat pod that noisily splits open exposing small brown pea like seeds.
Flower Color:Orange
Other: Reddish-orange and yellow
Bloom Size:1"-2"
Flower Time:Late summer or early fall
Underground structures:Taproot
Suitable Locations:Patio/Ornamental/Small Tree
Uses:Flowering Tree
Wildlife Attractant:Bees
Resistances:Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Toxicity:Leaves are poisonous
Fruit is poisonous
Other: People in Central Africa presumably eat the seeds after boiling in several changes of water.
Propagation: Seeds:Scarify seeds
Other info: Under optimum conditions and climate it will self-sow and may even become weedy.
Containers:Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Awards and Recognitions:Texas Superstar®

Paper Kite Butterfly

The ATP Top 50 Trees and ShrubsThe ATP Top 50 Trees and Shrubs
July 5, 2014

Let's open Trees and Shrubs week with a list of the most popular of these woody plants in our database. There are a lot of great plants in this list!

(Full article23 comments)
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Posted by eclayne (Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA - Zone 6a) on Feb 1, 2013 2:45 PM

An evergreen shrub, leaf loss or damage may occur as temperatures dip below 50F (10C). Grow as a die back perennial in hardiness zone 9 and possibly 8b.

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Posted by ricelg (Hill Country TX - Zone 8a) on Jul 27, 2017 5:39 PM

Received this plant last year with pending blooms and it did fine in direct sun and Texas heat. Unfortunately, the hard freeze killed it and I had to replace with 2 smaller ones this year in the same spot. Worse, these have not yet bloomed at all...and my wife is very envious of others' prolific blooming.

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Posted by plantladylin (East Central Florida - Zone 9b) on Aug 22, 2014 10:36 AM

Caesalpinia pulcherrima is an evergreen shrub in frost-free climates, but it loses its leaves here in my zone 9 Florida garden when the temperatures drop below 50ºF. It is considered a returning perennial in zone 8b, re-sprouting from the roots after winter frosts or freezes. Those who live in colder zones can grow it as an annual or as a houseplant to be moved to a greenhouse or indoors during the winter months if one has the space.

Pride of Barbados does best in a full sun location and it is drought tolerant. In tropical climates this plant will attain heights and widths of 15 to 20 feet, but when branches get long they tend to break easily. In cultivation, 6-8 feet seems to be the norm for Pride of Barbados. It can be pruned to keep it at a manageable size. I saw one planted in front of someone's home here in my area that was kept pruned to about 4 feet, and even though small in stature, it was an attention getter when in full bloom.

This plant has escaped cultivation and has become established in the southern part of the state of Florida.

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Posted by robertduval14 (Mason, New Hampshire - Zone 5b) on Sep 19, 2016 10:48 PM

National flower of Barbados.

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Posted by ricelg (Hill Country TX - Zone 8a) on May 14, 2017 9:09 PM

This plant grew pretty rapidly for me. However, I've had a lot of difficulty getting this to germinate from seed. Scarification is a must.

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Plant Events from our members
piksihkOn August 8, 2017Bloomed
piksihkOn April 17, 2016Transplanted
HW round bed
piksihkOn September 12, 2015Obtained plant
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread TitleLast ReplyReplies
Excellent by greeneSep 10, 2014 9:58 AM1
What a picture! by lovesbloomsMay 31, 2016 1:58 PM0
wrong pride by jmorthDec 14, 2017 11:34 AM2
Please ID by BeKindOct 22, 2017 6:46 PM8
Fall Bloomers by BubblesOct 18, 2017 3:17 PM15
I.D. for new agave and a cactus. by AgaveGirl1Feb 11, 2017 10:53 AM15
Flower identification by MartinGardenJan 22, 2017 6:03 AM1
Let's see what else we are growing in 2017 by UrsulaDec 10, 2017 11:13 AM1,012
Red Orchid Tree seeds by IbisFlaOct 19, 2016 7:37 PM7
Flowering Plant Not growing by CanlocuJul 24, 2016 12:50 PM5
Repotting Pride of Barbados by chris1948Apr 21, 2016 8:18 PM22
I just bought in 2015 by UrsulaJan 2, 2016 3:48 PM572
Seeds? by ShadyGreenThumbOct 18, 2014 2:47 PM16

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