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Royal Poinciana, Flamboyant
Scientific Name: Delonix regia (Bojer ex Hook.) Raf.
Synonym: Caesalpinia regia, Poinciana regia
Royal Poinciana in Guaymas (Mexico)
Recommended Temperature Zone:|
Frost Tolerance: Tender in Phoenix, the adult trees are hardy to 25°F (-3°C), needs more protection when young, is likely to lose its leaves when the temperature approaches freezing.
Heat Tolerance: Excellent
Sun Exposure: Full sun to light shade
Growth Habits: Semideciduous, fast growing tree, up to 30 feet
Watering Needs: Moderate water
Propagation: Seeds or occasionally cuttings
The Royal Poinciana is a magnificent tree. It can take up to 10 years to mature. When mature, it gets covered with bright orange flowers for 2 to 4 months in summer, and its delicate foliage is a good addition to your garden the rest of the year.
The roots of this tree can be invasive, and the branches are brittle. Along with it being tender, it limits the locations where it can be planted in the garden.
The flowers are followed by seed pods measuring up to 2 feet long (60 cm). The seeds, that are bean size are covered with a shiny finish. Germinating the seeds can be a problem, you can use fresh seeds and file them to remove the shine before soaking them for 24 hours. The method I use is to dip them in boiling water for 3-5 minutes, and let them overnight in warm water. The seeds usually germinate in a week with 100% success.
The method I have been using with much success, even with 2 year old seeds is:
1- boil water
2- take the boiling water off the stove
3- put the seeds in the boiling water
4- after a couple of minutes add cold water until the temperature drops to 110 degres F (45 C): the water should feel very hot but not burning
5- leave the seeds in the water overnight
6- after 24 hours the membrane covering the seeds peels by itself
7- put in moist motting soil
8- the seedlings show up in around a week or less
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