Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Pride of Barbados
Give a thumbs up Dwarf Poinciana
Give a thumbs up Red Bird of Paradise
Give a thumbs up Mexican Bird of Paradise
Give a thumbs up Flamboyan-de-Jardin
Give a thumbs up Peacock Flower

Botanical names:
Caesalpinia pulcherrima Accepted
Caesalpinia pulcherrima f. flava Synonym
Caesalpinia pulcherrima var. flava Synonym

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
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Other: 3 inch to 4 inch long flat pod that noisily splits open exposing small brown pea like seeds.
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Orange
Other: Reddish-orange and yellow
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Late summer or early fall
Underground structures: Taproot
Uses: Flowering Tree
Medicinal Herb
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
Miscellaneous: With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth
Awards and Recognitions: Texas Superstar®
Other: National Flower of Barbados


Top 50 Trees and ShrubsTop 50 Trees and Shrubs
By dave on 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!

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Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) 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 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 8b) 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 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 8b) 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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Posted by tabbycat (Youngsville, LA - Zone 9b) on Oct 20, 2018 9:03 PM

I got seeds 2 years ago from Esperanza in a swap here. They grew well the 1st summer but stayed small. This summer the 4 plants got 2 ft. tall in gallon pots. I put the largest in the ground in a full-sun bed and it grew to 3 ft. tall and made its first exotic red and orange flowers by mid summer. In Sept it set 2 seeds that dried on the plant, and I just removed them Oct. 15. These are supposed to be the dwarf variety, but I also have a plant I started from a seed from St. John in the Virgin Islands that is the full-sized tree variety. We are zone 9, so I don't know that it will become a tree in our 30* average lows.

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Posted by tabbycat (Youngsville, LA - Zone 9b) on Feb 28, 2020 5:22 PM

I ordered 3 plants of the PINK flowered ones in Dec. 2019 from typicaltoed on Etsy. They arrived 12-7-19 from Fla. as 8" nice healthy plants. I will repot each in gallon pots on my patio & hope for flowers Summer 2020. My red variety plants have done beautifully planted out in the yard here in zone 9 south Louisiana. They die back a little in freezes that are few here but send out new growth in March. They are beautiful & so tropical looking I just had to have the PINK ones, too.

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Plant Events from our members
piksihk On July 4, 2018 Bloomed
piksihk On August 8, 2017 Bloomed
piksihk On April 17, 2016 Transplanted
HW round bed
piksihk On September 12, 2015 Obtained plant
MrsBinWY On January 3, 2019 Seeds germinated
2 showing their radical
MrsBinWY On December 25, 2018 Seeds sown
4+1 seeds from monetwwqi; chip, soak 48 hours, paper towel in baggie until radical emerges per

Seeds on the paper towel looked like they were molding. Put back in water with H2O2 on 1-1-19.
tabbycat On August 21, 2020 Harvested
Seeds starting to dry on both plants. Should get lots since 2 nice plants now.
tabbycat On June 6, 2020 Bloomed
1 by garage has 1st ever blooms
tabbycat On April 4, 2020 Miscellaneous Event
1 in back yard & 1 by garage has new growth.
tabbycat On August 16, 2018 Bloomed
1st ever blooms on 1 yr. plant
tabbycat On January 29, 2017 Seeds sown
Sowed 12 seeds
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Excellent by greene Sep 10, 2014 9:58 AM 1
What a picture! by lovesblooms May 31, 2016 1:58 PM 0
wrong pride by jmorth Dec 14, 2017 11:34 AM 2
Photo of Caesalpinia on wrong page? by nmoasis Aug 27, 2020 3:08 PM 2
Banner for October 23, 2020 by EscondidoCal by EscondidoCal Oct 23, 2020 7:36 PM 9
Texas flower by Patty Oct 18, 2020 10:55 PM 8
Banner for August 28, 2020 by chhari55 by chhari55 Aug 28, 2020 6:00 AM 8
Planting tropical seeds by Gina1960 Apr 22, 2020 10:56 AM 9
Chow Time 2020 by Whitebeard Oct 23, 2020 9:39 PM 6,367
Looking for the name of a tree by Agoo Dec 15, 2019 12:30 AM 17
Our other fun plants for 2019 by dyzzypyxxy Apr 13, 2019 4:59 PM 128
wildflower in Big Bend National Park, Texas by ViolaAnn Oct 10, 2018 9:26 AM 3
Cactus and succulents chat by Baja_Costero Oct 23, 2020 8:31 PM 8,780
Please ID by BeKind Jun 21, 2018 12:25 PM 11

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