In The Garden: Dwarf poinciana tree is a small wonder
One cannot miss noticing the dwarf poinciana (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) as it stands out and brightens the landscape with its showy reddish-orange and yellow flowers. It will often be seen in the landscape as an ornamental accent tree. It has multiple trunks with fern-like greyish-green leaves. Not to be confused with the enormous royal poinciana tree, it makes a great alternative where there is limited space or for adding height and interest to a blank wall.
The dwarf poinciana tree is native to Mexico and is also the official flower of the Barbados, also known as “Pride of Barbados.” It is a fast-growing tree and one can enjoy the brightly colored flowers yearly from March to October. It makes a great choice to include in a butterfly garden to attract butterflies. The tree has several common names, which include peacock flower, red bird of paradise and flower fence. The dwarf poinciana can be grown as a large shrub, as well. Late fall after the flowers continue to bloom is the best time to prune and shape it. Otherwise, it will grow 10 to 15 feet, which is still significantly smaller the royal poinciana tree.
The dwarf poinciana needs very little maintenance, requiring fertilization only once a year. Like most flowering trees and plants, the flowering tree thrives in full sunlight and well drained soils. It is also moderately salt tolerant and drought tolerant once it gets established.
Overall, the dwarf poinciana is a unique, attractive and ideal accent tree that will continue to impress those who are new to tropical landscapes and flowering tree enthusiasts as well. The tree is a worthy addition to the landscape, especially when there is limited space.
In The Garden is a joint effort by all at the local garden center, at 3889 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel. For more information, contact 239-395-5859 or visit www.facebook.com/rswalshinthegarden.