by Britta Soderqvist, Estates Plant Curator
Dwarf Poinciana, Caesalpinia pulcherrima
This is a fast-growing shrub or small tree, growing up to 12 feet in height and sometimes 12 feet in width. It blooms best in full sun and tolerates drought well. A variety of flower colors are available, although the yellow and red variety (pictured above) is most common. Flowers can appear year-round but are more prolific during the warm months. The Dwarf Poinciana is thought to have originated from the West Indies and the tropical Americas.
Unlike its larger “cousin” the Royal Poinciana, the Dwarf Poinciana can grow in cooler temperatures. It has been known to survive in temperatures as low as the high teens. During extreme cold, it may die back to the ground but will likely recover. Dwarf Poincianas will bloom when potted but they do better when planted in the ground.
If you love the look of the Royal Poinciana Trees that are blooming all over McGregor Boulevard but don’t have the room for such a large tree, consider purchasing a Dwarf Poinciana from the Estates Garden Shoppe. Plants in 6 inch pots are $10 and have been selling quickly. You can see our Dwarf Poinciana in full bloom next to the fountain between the Edison Main House and the Moonlight Garden.