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"Gulmohar" redirects here. For other uses, see Gulmohar (disambiguation).
Delonix regia
Royal Poinciana.jpg
Tree in full bloom in the Florida Keys
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Genus: Delonix
Species: D. regia
Binomial name
Delonix regia
(Boj. ex Hook.) Raf.
  • Delonix regia var. flavida Stehle
  • Delonix regia var. genuina Stehle
  • Delonix regia var. genuina Stehlé
  • Poinciana regia Hook.
  • Poinciana regia Bojer [1]

Delonix regia is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, subfamily Caesalpinioideae. It is noted for its fern-like leaves and flamboyant display of flowers. In many tropical parts of the world it is grown as an ornamental tree and in English it is given the name Royal Poinciana or Flamboyant. It is also one of several trees known as Flame tree.

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). It is a non nodulating legume.


The tree's vivid red/vermilion/orange/yellow flowers and bright green foliage make it an exceptionally striking sight.

Flower, leaves & pods in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Delonix regia var. flavida is a rarer, yellow-flowered variety.[2]
Closeup of leaves

The Delonix Regia is found in Madagascar's dry deciduous forests. In the wild it is endangered, but it is widely cultivated elsewhere. In addition to its ornamental value, it is also a useful shade tree in tropical conditions, because it usually grows to a modest height (mostly 5 meters, but it can reach an maximum height of 12 meters) but spreads widely, and its dense foliage provides full shade. In areas with a marked dry season, it sheds its leaves during the drought, but in other areas it is virtually evergreen. Flowers appear in corymbs along and at the ends of branches. Pods are green and flaccid when young and turn dark-brown and woody.[3]

Flower (Kibbutz Ginnosar, Israel)
Flamboyant tree (Ateneo de Manila University).
The Royal Poinciana (Island of Mauritius)

The flowers are large, with four spreading scarlet or orange-red petals up to 8 cm long, and a fifth upright petal called the standard, which is slightly larger and spotted with yellow and white. The naturally occurring variety flavida (Bengali: Radhachura) has yellow flowers.[2] Seed pods are dark brown and can be up to 60 cm long and 5 cm wide; the individual seeds, however, are small, weighing around 0.4 g on average. The compound leaves have a feathery appearance and are a characteristic light, bright green. They are doubly pinnate: Each leaf is 30–50 cm long and has 20 to 40 pairs of primary leaflets or pinnae on it, and each of these is further divided into 10-20 pairs of secondary leaflets or pinnules.

Environmental requirements[edit]

The Royal Poinciana requires a tropical or near-tropical climate, but can tolerate drought and salty conditions. The Poinciana prefers an open, free-draining sandy or loamy soil enriched with organic matter. The tree does not like heavy or clay soils and flowers more profusely when kept slightly dry. The Poinciana is very widely grown in the Caribbean, Africa, Northern Australia (the southern extremes previously limited to South East Queensland, although it now grows and blooms successfully in Sydney with flowering trees identified in the suburbs of Petersham, Parramatta, Guildford, Warwick Farm and Kurmond), Hong Kong, the Canary Islands, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Cyprus, Malta, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan, southern China. It is the official tree in Vietnam Tainan, Taiwan; Xiamen, Fujian Province, People's Republic of China; and Shantou, Canton Province, People's Republic of China. National Cheng Kung University, a university located in Tainan, put Royal Poinciana on its emblem. It also grows throughout southern Brazil, with ornamental trees in Rio Grande do Sul (Canoas and Porto Alegre).[4][5]

Geographical growth range[edit]

Close up of bark
Gordonvale, Queensland. Seed pods visible on upper branches.

Delonix regia is endemic to the western forests of Madagascar, but has been introduced into tropical and sub-tropical regions worldwide. In the continental United States, it grows in South Florida, Central Florida,[6] the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, ranging from the low deserts of Southern Arizona (to as high as Tucson), and Southern California. It also grows in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti, Hawaii, Mexico (especially in the Yucatan peninsula), Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Canary Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, where it is the official tree of the islands, and in Israel. It is much loved in the Caribbean; many Dominican & Puerto Rican paintings feature Flamboyant Trees. It can also be found in The Bahamas. The Poinciana is the national flower of St. Kitts and Nevis. The islands of Mauritius and La Réunion have widespread distribution of the Royal Poinciana where it announces the coming of the new year.

Royal Poinciana seeds after soaking them in water for 6 days

The Royal Poinciana is regarded as naturalised in many of the locations where it is grown. It is a popular street tree in the suburbs of Brisbane, Australia. The tree is also found in India, where it is referred to as the Gulmohar, or Gul Mohr.[7] In West Bengal (India) and Bangladesh it is called Krishnachura.

The town of Peñuelas, Puerto Rico, located about 12 miles west of Ponce, is nicknamed "El Valle de los Flamboyanes" ("The Valley of the Poinciana Trees"), as many Flamboyant trees are found along the surrounding Río Guyanes, Río Macana, and Río Tallaboa Rivers.

In Vietnam, this tree is called "Phượng vỹ", or phoenix's tail, and is a popular urban tree in much of Vietnam. Its flowering season is May - July, which coincides with the end of the school year in Vietnam. Because of this timing, the flower of Poinciana is sometimes called the "flower of pupil". Hai Phong city is nicknamed "Thành phố hoa phượng đỏ" ("City of red Poinciana").

Cultural significance[edit]

In the Indian state of Kerala, Royal Poinciana is called Kaalvarippoo which means the flower of Calvary. There is a popular belief among Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala that when Jesus was crucified, there was a small Royal Poinciana tree nearby his Cross. It is believed that the blood of Jesus Christ was shed over the flowers of the tree and this is how the flowers of Royal Poinciana got a sharp red color.[8]


A Bonnet macaque eating flowers.

The Royal Poinciana is most commonly propagated by seeds. Seeds are collected, soaked in warm water for at least 24 hours, and planted in warm, moist soil in a semi-shaded, sheltered position. In lieu of soaking, the seeds can also be 'nicked' or 'pinched' (with a small scissors or nail clipper) and planted immediately. These two methods allow moisture to penetrate the tough outer casing, stimulating germination. The seedlings grow rapidly and can reach 30 cm in a few weeks under ideal conditions.

Less common, but just as effective, is propagation by semi-hardwood cuttings. Branches consisting of the current or last season's growth can be cut into 30 cm sections and planted in a moist potting mixture. This method is slower than seed propagation (cuttings take a few months to root) but is the preferred method for ensuring new trees are true to form. As such, cuttings are a particularly common method of propagation for the rarer yellow-flowering variety of the tree.

Flowering season[edit]

Royal poinciana in Martin County, Florida, May
Gulmohar flowers in New Delhi
  • Bangladesh: April–May
  • South Florida: May–June
  • Egypt: May–June
  • Vietnam: May–July
  • Caribbean: May–September
  • Indian Subcontinent: April–June
  • Australia: November–February
  • Northern Mariana Islands: March–June
  • United Arab Emirates: May–July
  • Brazil: November–February
  • Southern Sudan: March–May
  • Thailand: April–May
  • Philippines: April–May
  • Peru (coast): January–March
  • Zambia and Zimbabwe: October–December
  • Hong Kong: May–June
  • Mauritius: November–December
  • Israel: May–June
  • Hawaii: May–June


  1. ^ http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/ild-1279
  2. ^ a b Don Burke (1 November 2005). The complete Burke's backyard: the ultimate book of fact sheets. Murdoch Books. p. 269. ISBN 978-1-74045-739-2. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  3. ^ http://greencleanguide.com/2012/07/25/delonix-regia/
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ http://gardendrum.com/2013/02/06/is-that-a-poinciana/
  6. ^ http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st228
  7. ^ Cowen, D. V. (1984). Flowering Trees and Shrubs in India, Sixth Edition. Bombay: THACKER and Co. Ltd. p. 1. 
  8. ^ Annamma Thomas; T. M. Thomas (1984). Kerala Immigrants in America: A Sociological Study of the St. Thomas Christians. Simons Printers. p. 34. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delonix_regia — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

131 news items

Arizona Daily Star

Arizona Daily Star
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 14:22:30 -0700

The brilliant delonix regia tree is variously known as a “royal poinciana, flamboyant tree and a flame tree.” 2015-10-08T14:15:00Z 2015-10-08T14:21:39Z Growing royal poinciana treesBy Peter L. Warren Special to the Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star.
Arizona Daily Star
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 15:18:45 -0700

A. In October you can plant quite a few things. It really depends on what you want to eat. Here is a list to start with. Artichoke, arugula, fava beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, beets, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, collards, eggplant, endive ...

NT News

NT News
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 01:52:35 -0700

The most stunning of these changes are the large poincianas (Delonix regia), crepe myrtles (Lagerstroemia speciosa) and cassias (e.g. (c.javanica, c.roxburgii, c.fistula). The latter makes a glorious sight of cascading blooms hanging down from branches ...
Times of India
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 14:00:00 -0700

Peltophorum (ayalvaagai), almond (baadham), Delonix regia (kilikkondrai), Mimusops elengi (magizham), Pongamia pinnata (pungan), neem (vembu), Albizia lebbeck (vaagai), tamarind (puli), Tabebuia rosea (senguzhal poo) were nurtured to be planted in ...

Time Out Hong Kong

Time Out Hong Kong
Thu, 01 Oct 2015 05:11:15 -0700

The park is located on a mound known as Phoenix Hill, due to the stunning flame red Delonix regia trees that blossom in spring and summer. 13 Praça Luís de Camões, Macau. 6am-10pm; free. Done it? Riding in the fake gondolas at the Venetian Macao.
The National
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 01:11:15 -0800

The Delonix regia, or flame tree, is an easy option if you're looking to add a splash of colour to your garden. Sprouting fiery red, orange or yellow flowers, the flame tree, native to Madagascar, is typically found in tropical or near-tropical ...


Thu, 10 Sep 2015 04:26:15 -0700

Some cherry blossoms bloom during freezing weather conditions,; Delonix regia (Gulmohar in Hindi) bloom after a season of drought and extreme heat, this not only brings beauty to the soothing spring season but also brings back life to the plant ...

El Diario de Hoy

El Diario de Hoy
Mon, 21 Sep 2015 14:11:15 -0700

De enero a mayo imponen su majestuosidad de flores, el Cortez blanco (Tabebuia caraiba), con enormes ramos de flores amarillas, el maquilishuat (Tabebuia rosea), con flores de color morado, rosado y blanco; el mulato, el árbol de fuego (Delonix regia), ...

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