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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
Conservation status
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 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.

In India it is known as Gulmohar in Hindi. It is also known there as Krishnachura or Krusnachuda (Bengali/Oriya: crown of the Krishna) and Krishnasura (in Assamese and Bengali). In Kerala, it is known as Kaalvaripoo (കാൽവരിപ്പൂവ്). In Vietnam, it is known as Phượng vĩ (means "Phoenix's Tail) (Vietnamese), Malinche, and Tabachine.[1] In Khmer, the tree and the flower is known collectively as "Peacock" or ដើម (tree) or ផ្កា (flower) «ក្ងោក»។ . In Guatemala, Antigua Guatemala, it is known as llama del bosque, in Paraguay as chivato, and in Cuba as flamboyán (taken from the French flamboyant).

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 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, 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]


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


  1. ^ Presentación de PowerPoint
  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.
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112 news items

Royal Gazette

Royal Gazette
Tue, 14 Apr 2015 04:03:40 -0700

On large properties the selection is greater ranging from the Albizia lebbek — Black Ebony which is deciduous and therefore will tolerate more open locations better, to the Delonix regia — Royal Poinciana, Lonchocarpus violaceous — Lilac Tree both ...


Tue, 14 Apr 2015 05:00:00 -0700

A socialite has many titles, so does delonix regia. She is the Royal Poinciana, and the Flame of the Forest as she puts on a dazzling display of blazing blossoms of flame, resembling an umbrella of fiery flowers, a dome of beautiful branches with ...


Tue, 07 Apr 2015 05:35:38 -0700

Luiz Martinelli, morador de Indaiatuba, interior de São Paulo, tinha motivos de sobra para se maravilhar com o flamboyant (Delonix regia) que encontrou em seu caminho. A espécie de grande porte, que dá boa sombra e flores admiráveis, no entanto, não ...
Royal Gazette
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 04:00:00 -0800

The albizia lebbeck (Black Ebony) is deciduous and will tolerate open locations better; the delonix regia (Royal Poinciana) and Lonchocarpus violaceus (Lilac tree) are both deciduous but require a more protected location. Consider using groups of trees ...


Tue, 07 Apr 2015 06:56:19 -0700

A árvore frondosa que ornamentava a avenida Independência, a última do quarteirão ao lado do Senai, do outro lado da avenida Itália, foi derrubada na quinta-feira, 02. Flamboyant é uma árvore frondosa também conhecida como delonix regia, ...


Thu, 09 Apr 2015 07:50:17 -0700

Vai de cel ce vrea să treacă prin Paradiso ca prin „«cartea lunii»“, exclamă Julio Cortázar în seducătorul său volum compozit Ocolul zilei în optzeci de lumi, recent apărut la Editura Art, eveniment care, dincolo de interesul stîrnit de orice text al ...
Taipei Times
Wed, 24 Dec 2014 07:56:15 -0800

Greater Tainan Government on Tuesday selected the pheasant-tailed jacana, the delonix regia and the moth orchid to be the official bird, tree and flower respectively representing the city, after four years of tumultuous debates highlighting differences ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Tue, 24 Feb 2015 02:58:37 -0800

Some of the recommended trees included, Adansonia digitata (Baobab tree), Albizia lebbeck and Delonix regia (Gold Mohur) for gardens and parks etc. ``Most of the roads in the city are devoid of tree cover. Unfortunately, the city is lacking in public ...

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