August Bloomin’ SD

August 22, 2012

A Show Stopping August Plant

Last week while showing a home to a client in Ramona, in the neighborhood of San Diego Country Estates,  I came across this stunning plant strutting it stuff in 100 degree plus weather.  I was amazed to say the least.  My first thought was everyone needs to grow this plant in their garden.  My second thought was, how come I don’t know what this plant is?

Stunning Floral Display in the Heat of Summer

I am always on the lookout for plants to not only put here on, but to also share in From The Front Porch Journal.  I was in a quandry as to what I was going to be putting in the upcoming September/October issue.  Imagine my excitement when I came around the corner and saw this stunning floral display!

The Frilly Flower of the Red Bird of Paradise

After showing my clients a home they ended up not liking, I don’t blame them I didn’t like it either, I made a quick stop to take some photos.  I headed home to do a google image search.  I love google, you can find anything you want to know about there.  I did a search for orange and yellow flowering plants and walla…found the name of this incredible plant which is Caesalpinia pulcherrima.  Say that 3 times fast!  Otherwise known by the common names:  Pride of Barbados, Red Bird of Paradise, Dwarf Poinciana, Peacock Flower (so fitting), flamboyan-de-jardin (french for flamboyant garden).  Apparently this plant is very popular in the states of Arizona and Texas.  You will also see it quite abundantly in Las Vegas.

Buds and Blooms of the Red Bird of Paradise

Red Bird of Paradise is considered a drought tolerant plant once it has been established.  It can grow to the height of  4-8 feet and a width of 4-6 feet.  Part of the Caesalpiniaceae family, it will get pods on it that kind of look like peas after blooming.  You can see a few of the pods in the photo above.  Blooms are in the colors you see here, a vibrant red/orange with a bright yellow accent.  The leaves of the plant remind me of a sensitivity plant.  It does have the tendency to reseed prolifically, so you can look at that as a curse (growing in places you don’t want) or a blessing(free plants).  Dead-heading would be helpful if you don’t want it to reseed.  I do think a mass planting of these would be absolutely gorgeous.  It can’t take extreme cold, so I don’t know if you could grow in places like Julian or Pine Valley, but it would be worth a try to see if it came back in the spring.  It attracts bees, butterflies and/or birds.  Bees are always a good thing in the garden and who doesn’t enjoy watching the butterflies flitter about from flower to flower?  Warning: If you have pets or children you may not want to grow this plant as it is poisonous if ingested.

A Tough But Yet Delicate Looking Plant
A Must Have for the Low-Water California Garden

Right now I’m trying to figure out where in the wee humble cottage garden I can plant this.  A girl can never have too many plants you know.  If you are interested in low-water gardening, check out the July Bloomin’ SD-The Mexican Sage Bush.  It too is a very stunning and would look great next to this lovely plant.

Let me know if you decide to plant this beauty or if you are already growing it.   I would love to hear what your experience has been with it.

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