Caesalpinia pulcherrima (L.) Sw., Observ. Bot. (Swartz) 166 (1791)

Name meaning 'very beautiful'.

Synonyms
Caesalpinia pulcherrima var. flava Bailey & Rehder
Poinciana bijuga Lour.
Poinciana bijuga Burm. f.
Poinciana pulcherrima L.

Description
Shrubs or small trees. Branches green or farinose-green, smooth, with scattered, sparse prickles. Leaves 12-26 cm; pinnae 4-8 pairs, opposite, 6-12 cm; petiolules short; leaflets 7-11 pairs, oblong or obovate, 1-2 cm 4-8 mm, base oblique, apex emarginate, sometimes acute. Racemes subcorymbose, terminal or axillary, lax, to 25 cm. Pedicels unequal in length, 4.5-7 cm. Receptacle concave to turbinate, glabrous. Sepals 5, glabrous, lowest one ca. 1.4 cm, others ca. 1 cm. Petals orange-red or yellow, orbicular, 1-2.5 cm, margin wavy, with claw subequal to limb in length. Stamens very far exserted; filaments red, 5-6 cm, thick and hairy in basal part. Ovary glabrous; style orange-yellow, long, 5-6.5 mm. Legume blackish brown when ripe, oblanceolate-oblong, narrow and thin, 6-10 1.5-2 cm, not winged, glabrous, indehiscent, apex rounded, upper suture ending in a sharp beak. Seeds 6-9. [from Flora of China]

Ecology
In Asia usually planted as an ornamental, but could escape into secondary growth.

Uses
Ornamental. Medicine men in the Amazon Rainforest have long known some of the medicinal uses for Caesalpinia pulcherrima, which is known as Ayoowiri. Four grams from the root is said to induce abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Distribution
Originally from Central- and South America, but now cultivated across the tropics.

Local names
China: Jin feng hua.
English: Dwarf Poinciana, Mexican Bird of Paradise, Peacock Flower, Poinciana, Pride of Barbados, Red Bird of Paradise.
French: Flamboyan-de-jardin.
India: Guletura (Hindi), Krishnachura (Bengali), Radhachura (Bengali).