Sunday, March 20, 2011

Royal Poinciana Tree (Delonix regia )

The Poinciana tree is indigenous to Madagascar, where it is on the endangered list.  Everywhere else in the tropical world, the tree is a prolific grower.  It has naturalised itself in Brisbane, Australia, and is a very popular shade tree.  I have one growing in my back yard, and it rewards me every year with the most magnificent display of red flowers every summer.
This species was previously placed in the genus Poinciana, named for Phillippe de Longvilliers de Poincy, the 17th century governor of Saint Christophe (Saint Kitts), who is credited with introducing the plant to the Americas. Because it is a legume, the tree has nitrogen-fixating and soil-improving properties. Quote from Wikipedia.

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