Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Caesalpinia

Caesalpinia

A large genus of close to 150 species of mostly warm climate, spectacular flowering trees, shrubs and vines that are part of the massive Legume family that also includes the Acacias, Locusts, Peas and Beans.
Most species prefer full sun and a fertile, well drained soil.
Propagation is typically from seed and can be improved by rubbing the seed on sand paper then soaking in warm water to soften the hard seed coats.

* photos taken on Jan 3 2011 @ Deerfield Beach Arboretum, Florida


Caesalpinia bahamense
A small tree, reaching a maximum size of 25 x 25 feet.
Hardy zones 10 to 12

Caesalpinia bonduc
Some records include: 3 years - 6 feet

Caesalpinia cacalaco ( Cascalote )
A very attractive, very thorny, native, moderate growing, upright, evergreen, small to medium-sized tree that is similar in appearance to the Honey Locust ( Gleditsia triacanthos ) of North America. It is native to northwestern Mexico. Some records include:fastest recorded growth rate - 3 feet; 2 years - 4 feet; 3 years - 8 feet; largest on record - 50 x 25 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.5 feet. Reaches up to 6 feet as a foliage perennial.
The leaves, up to 8 inches in length, are composed of leaflets, up to 1 inch in length. The foliage is purplish at first, turning to deep green.
The yellow flowers are borne on clusters up to 12 inches in length, from early winter to early spring.
The stems and thorns are reddish-brown.
Hardy zones 9 to 12 ( tolerating as low as 17 F ) in full sun. Known to dieback to base in zone 8b and resprout vigorously. Very drought and heat tolerant. It is propagated from seed and stem cuttings.

'Smoothie'
The stems lack thorns; it is otherwise identical to the species.

Caesalpinia coriaria
A small to medium-sized tree, native to the Caribbean and Mexico to Central America.
Some records include: largest on record - 50 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.5 feet.
The leaves are up to 6 x 3 inches in size.
Hardy zones 10 to 12

Caesalpinia decapetala ( Mysore Thorn )
Also called Caesalpinia sepiaria. A large scrambling vine or semi-climbing shrub ( if no support ) that is native from southern China to southern Japan; south into the southeastern Asia tropics. Some records include: 5 years - 30 feet; largest on record - 82 ( rarely over 50 ) feet as a vine.
The ferny, bipinnate leaves, up to 16 x 8 inches, are composed of rounded leaflets, up to 0.8 inches in length. The foliage is bright green.
The bright yellow ( with red spotting ) flowers are borne on clusters, up to 16 inches in length.
This vine clings to support by means of hooked thorns on the leaf undersides.
Hardy zones 9 to 11 ( reports of 8 ) tolerating as low as 14 F. Very drought tolerant and thrives in mediterranean climates.

subsp japonica
Hardier, north to zone 8b.
The leaflets are larger, up to 1 inch in length and the flowers are brighter yellow.

Caesalpinia echinata ( Brazilwood )
Also called Peachwood. A moderate growing, large tree that is native to the Atlantic Rainforest region in Brazil where it is endangered. Some records include: largest on record - 110 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet.
The leathery, pinnate leaves, up to 4 inches in length, are composed of 9 to 19 small broad-oblong leaflets.
The flowers are yellow.
The branches and trunk are prickly.
Hardy zones 11 to 12. Very drought and salt tolerant as well as tolerant of alkaline soil.

* photos of unknown internet source




Caesalpinia ferrea ( Leopard Tree )
A fast growing, long-lived, thornless, deciduous, lofty, large tree that is native to eastern Brazil. Some records include: largest on record - 100 x 75 feet with a trunk diameter of 5 feet.
It is popular as a street tree in subtropical and tropical regions around the world.
The leaves, up to 8 inches in length, are reddish at first, turning to bright green.
The bi-pinnate leaves are composed of 7 pairs of 0.8 inch leaflets.
The bright yellow flowers are borne on dense panicles during summer.
The very attractive bark is creamy-white and smooth, with large gray patches. The main trunk usually splits into long twisted limbs shortly above the ground.
Hardy zones 9 to 12

* photos taken on Jan 3 2011 @ Deerfield Beach Arboretum, Florida


Caesalpinia gillesii ( Bird of Paradise Shrub )
A fast growing, open, spreading, deciduous or evergreen ( depending on climate ) large shrub or small tree, is native from northern Argentina and Uruguay. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 6 feet; 2 years - 5 feet; 3 year - 8 feet; largest on record - 40 x 25 feet.
The ferny, bipinnate leaves, up to 12 inches in length, are composed of many leaflets up to 1.5 inches in length. The ferny foliage is bright green, later turning to deep green.
The large, bicolored golden-yellow ( petals ) and scarlet-red ( the very long stamens ) flowers, up to 5 inches each, are borne on short, erect spikes during summer. In very mild climates, it sometimes blooms early spring through late fall. The flower petals are up to 1 inch in length, the stamens are up to 3 inches.
Hardy zones 8 to 11 ( tolerating as low as 5 F ) in full sun, thriving on deep, light, well drained soil. It can be grown on sheltered sites further north into zone 6 as a perennial, with reports of root hardiness to -8 F. In climates with dry winters, it may become drought deciduous. It required climates with long, hot hummers. It is drought but not salt tolerant. Very deer resistant.
Can be grown from seed during fall or spring depending on climate region. It can also be grown from softwood cuttings taken during summer.

* photo of unknown internet source


* photos taken on Oct 21 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC

* video found on Youtube


Caesalpinia granadillo
A rare, moderately dense, medium-sized tree. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 3 feet; largest on record - 80 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.5 feet.
The leaves are up to 12 inches in length.
The flowers, up to 2 inches, are yellow.
The bark is white.
Hardy zones 10 to 12. It is not salt tolerant.

Caesalpinia insignis ( Zenia )
A fast growing, large tree native to far southern China where it is endangered.
Some records include: 16 years - 60 feet with a trunk diameter of 8 inches; largest on record - 100 x 80 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.5 feet.
The leaves, up to 18 inches in length are composed of up to 21 leaflets, up to 4 x 1 inches in size.
The bark is grayish-white.
Hardy zones 9b to 12 tolerating as low as 23 F
Tolerant of drought and limestone soils. It is tolerant of temporary flooding but not waterlogged soil.

Caesalpinia kaviensis
A rapid growing small tree, reaching a maximum height of 35 feet, that is native to Hawaii where it is highly endangered.
Some records include: first year - 3.5 feet.
The pinnate leaves are composed of up to 8 leaflets, up to 1.5 ( rarely over 1 ) inch in length.
The flowers are red.
Hardy zones 10 to 12

* photo of unknown internet source


Caesalpinia major
A vine reaching a maximum height of 50 feet.
Hardy zones 10 to 12

Caesalpinia mexicana ( Mexican Poinciana )
A medium-sized tree that is native from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas to central Mexico. In frost free climates, it is evergreen. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 10 feet; 3 years - 6 feet; largest on record - 45 x 60 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.3 feet. It can reach up to 6 feet as a perennial.
The leaves, up to 10 x 6.5 inches in size, are composed of numerous leaflets, up to 1 inch in length. The foliage is luxuriant deep green.
The bright yellow flowers are borne on clusters up to 6 inches in length. Within its native range, it blooms abundantly during spring and fall, sporadically during the remainder of the year.
The stems bear no thorns.
Hardy zones 9 to 12 as a tree. Perennial at 15 F at Tucson and some have even survived those temperatures as a woody plant however with some tip dieback. Very heat tolerant.

Caesalpinia palmeri
Some records include: 2 years - 5 feet, eventually 10 feet

Caesalpinia paraguayensis
A medium-sized tree that is native to South America. Some records include: 1 year - 3 x 4 feet; 12 years - 3 x 7 feet; largest on record - 60 feet.
The flowers are yellow.
The bark is beige.
Hardy zones 9 to 12 tolerating as low as 18 F

Caesalpinia platyloba
A fast growing, thornless, large tree that is native to the Caribbean and Costa Rica through Tropical America. Some records include: 3 years - 4 feet; 4 years - 10 feet; 13 years - 22 feet; largest on record - 170 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 6 feet.
The leaves are up to 8 inches in length.
The flowers are yellow.
Hardy zones 10 to 12, it can tolerate as low as 25 F. At 17 F it freezes to the ground and will regrow as a perennial reaching about 8 feet in a season.

Caesalpinia pulcherrima ( Peacock Flower )
Also called Dwarf Poinciana. A fast growing, spreading, small tree, that is native to tropical America. In the subtropics and tropics it is evergreen. Some records include: largest on record - 33 x 33 feet with a trunk diameter of 0.5 feet. Reaches up to 7 x 6 feet as a perennial in cold climates.
The leaves, up to 24 inches in length, are composed of leaflets, up to 1.5 x 0.5 inches. The luxuriant mid-green foliage lends to a lush tropical effect.
The fiery, scarlet-red flowers, up to 3 inches in length, are borne on large, erect terminal panicles, up to 24 ( rarely over 10 ) inches in length. The flowers are borne throughout the year in tropical climates.
Hardy zones 9 to 12 tolerating as low as 20 F however it can be grown as a perennial on sheltered sites as far north as zone 7. It prefers full sun and is very drought and salt tolerant. It is extremely heat tolerant, even thriving after 120 + F.

* photo taken on Jan 3 2011 @ Deerfield Beach Arboretum, Florida

* photo of unknown internet source


'Flava'
A yellow flowering variety that looks great mixed in plantings with the regular Caesalpinia pulcherrima.

Caesalpinia pumila ( Coppery-Leaved Caesalpinia )
A dense, rounded, large, evergreen shrub, reaching up to 12 x 12 feet in size, that is native to Sonora state in Mexico. Some records include: 5 years - 5.5 feet. It makes a great natural hedge or screen.
The bipinnate leaves are composed of rounded, small leaflets. The very attractive, gray-green foliage turns purplish-red during autumn and winter.
The yellow flowers are followed during autumn by showy pink seed-pods.
Hardy zones 9 to 11. Drought tolerant.

Caesalpinia sessilifolia

Caesalpinia velutina
A thornless, straight single-trunked, small tree. Some records include: largest on record - 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 feet.
The leaves are bipinnate.
Hardy zones 10 to 12.

Caesalpinia vesciaria
A small tree, reaching a maximum size of 25 x 25 feet.
The leaves, up to 10 inches in length, are composed of leaflets, up to 1.5 inches in length.
Hardy zones 10 to 12

* photos taken on Jan 3 2011 @ Deerfield Beach Arboretum, Florida



Caesalpinia violacea
Some records include: 2 years - 6 feet; 6 years - 7.5 feet

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