Red Bird of Paradise

Caesalpinia pulcherrima


Star-Tip 1006

Gardening Tips for successful and beautiful Landscapes and Gardens


A member of the Pea family and is among the largest flowering plant families with about 18,000 species in 630 genera worldwide. Often referred to as the Mexican Bird of Paradise, but should not to be confused with the Caesalpinia Mexicana, which has larger leaves and more likely semi-evergreen.

Characteristics and Care






Beautiful desert plant to 6 x 6 feet or more with clusters of bright, red-orange flowers. This plant will tolerate full sun all day, or partial shade. It survives our poor soils and will thrive in amended soil and good drainage.



The stem and branches are armed with soft spines. The red, orange, yellow and pink flowers grow at the end of the prickly but harmless branches. This small, graceful tree flowers throughout the year and is a beautiful garden or desert theme plant. (top)



Characteristics and Care

Deciduous in Las Vegas and Evergreen in climates with warm winters, this bush is fast growing with very attractive bipinnate leaves, 8 to 14 inches long. The Red Bird has beautiful bowl - shaped Peacock type red, orange, orange - red and yellow flowers.


Proper care for the Red Bird will never be daily water but rather deep and infrequent watering when established. Fertilize with desert plant food in spring and fall. It might freeze in cold winter but rebounds in spring. Avoid planting late to minimize chance of winter failure. (top)



The Red Bird of Paradise is a relatively frost sensitive Caesalpinia, and it is generally better to trim it closer to the ground in the winter once established. This keeps it more compact without seeming to delay it in spring. Hard pruning in the second and subsequent winters will help maintain a look that is more attractive and filled out. The seeds are toxic. (top)




2009, Star Nursery, Inc. Copy Provided courtesy of Star Nursery