Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)

Common names:
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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

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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This plant is tagged in:

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 plantladylin (Florida Zone 9b, 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 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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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
» 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
wildflower in Big Bend National Park, Texas by ViolaAnn Oct 10, 2018 9:26 AM 3
Cactus and tender succulents chat by Baja_Costero Oct 15, 2018 10:35 PM 2,591
Please ID by BeKind Jun 21, 2018 12:25 PM 11
Fall Bloomers by Bubbles Oct 18, 2017 3:17 PM 15
I.D. for new agave and a cactus. by AgaveGirl1 Feb 11, 2017 10:53 AM 15
Flower identification by MartinGarden Jan 22, 2017 6:03 AM 1
Let's see what else we are growing in 2017 by Ursula Jan 10, 2018 6:14 PM 1,057
Red Orchid Tree seeds by IbisFla Oct 19, 2016 7:37 PM 7
Flowering Plant Not growing by Canlocu Jul 24, 2016 12:50 PM 5
Repotting Pride of Barbados by chris1948 Apr 21, 2016 8:18 PM 22

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