Thursday, December 8, 2011

Royal Poinciana


Delonix elata ( Creamy Peacock Tree )
A fast growing, somewhat pendulous, medium-sized tree, reaching a maximum size of 50 x 50 feet, that is native to central Africa.
The bipinnate leaves are divided into leaflets, up to 0.5 inches.
The flowers are pale yellow.
The bark is smooth and shiny.
Hardy zones 10 to 12 in full sun. It is drought tolerant but hates flooding.
Tolerates dry climates, it will grow where yearly rainfall exceeds 22 inches.

Delonix regia ( Flamboyant Tree )
A massive, sturdy, wide-spreading, large deciduous tree, that is native to Madagascar where it is endangered. Some records include: 6 moths - 6 feet; 3 years - 16 x 6 feet; 4 years - 25 feet; 10 years - 50 feet; 80 years - trunk diameter of 5.1 feet; largest on record - 100 x 130 feet with a trunk diameter of 5.1 feet.
The large surface roots may lift paving, this is a much better choice for parks than for lining streets.
The ferny, bipinnate leaves, up to 24 x 12 inches, are bright green later later turning to deep green. The pinnae, up to 6 inches in length, are divided up into narrow leaflets, up to 0.6 ( rarely 1 ) inches in length.
The showy, orange-scarlet flowers are borne on large terminal clusters up to 15 inches in length. In Florida, it often begins flowering during early spring, continuing well into summer.
Flowering usually occurs with heavy rainfall that follows the dry season and before the new foliage emerges. Seedling grown trees take 10 or more years to flower.
The very large, seed containing flattened pods, up to 2 feet in length, ripen during the fall.
The bark is smooth and gray-brown.
Hardy zones 10 to 12 in full sun preferring moist, humus-rich, sandy, well drained soil. It requires a climate with 32+ inches of rainfall in a year unless additional irrigation is supplied. Very tolerant of drought but not salt. Young trees should be pruned to a single leader and feathered ( shorten and space side branches ) to obtain a strong trunk to at least 6 feet in height in order to get a tree you can walk under. As the trunk thickens, the lower branches that were feathered earlier. Propagation is easy from seed, which should be soaked in sulfuric acid for 7 minutes then soaked in water for 24 hours. The seeds should be planted 1 inch deep and usually sprout within 10 days.

* photo of unknown internet source

* photos taken on Jan 11 2011 @ Deerfield Beach Arboretum, Florida

* photos of unknown internet source

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