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Royal Poinciana Tree

Common names:  Royal Poinciana, Flamboyant tree

Botanical names:  Delonix regia

Habit:  This lovely fast-growing tropical tree is covered in summer with rich orange-red flowers on its umbrella-shaped crown of fine-textured leaves. It reaches heights of 40 to 50 feet. It can grow wider than its height. With its wide-reaching canopy, this tree is way too big for smaller properties and can overwhelm even a medium-sized yard. It is deciduous and produces seedpods that won't become a nuisance since seeds take years to germinate. The showy poinciana flowers appear in late spring through mid-summer.

Culture:  Tropical in nature, these red-flowering trees do best in Zone 10, beginning to flower at age 4 or 5. Plant in a well-drained area in full sun for ideal fullness and flowering. No trimming is necessary unless you need to remove low hanging branches. Water on a regular basis with time to dry out between waterings. Fertilize in spring, summer and autumn with a good quality organic fertilizer.

Uses:  It's best planted in a large expanse of lawn with no garden bed beneath, since its root system is superficial rather than deep. This means it will compete with and usually win out over nearby plants for water and nutrients. Plant at least 20 feet or more from the house to accommodate the broad-spreading canopy of this tree. Good for commercial projects in warm climates.


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