Plant of the Week: Pride of Barbados
As people visit other parts of Texas I’m asked to identify this plant that they’ve seen in their journeys. It’s one of the showiest of all of our landscaping plants, and everyone wants to have one of their own.
• Botanically it’s Caesalpinia pulcherrima.
• Pride of Barbados,
• Red bird of paradise,
• Mexican red bird of paradise,
• Dwarf poinciana
• Peacock flower (OK – I’ve never really heard that one, but I read it.)
Its hardiness and habits…
• Evergreen large shrub or small tree in sub-tropical Deep South Texas.
• Deciduous shrub in Zone 9.
• Returning perennial in Zone 8 (may die to ground).
• Annual most years in Zone 7.
How best to use it…
• Plan on it growing to 5 to 7 ft. tall.
• Full sun, even reflected heat – it’s tough!
• Perfect drainage, but not particular as to soil type.
• Drought-tolerant, but will respond well to regular watering so long as soil drains well.
• Grow where its spines won’t be offensive to pedestrian traffic.
• Blooms all summer and well into fall.
• Can be started from seed or bought from local nurseries in spring and early summer.
• Great for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies.