Drought Tolerant shrubs with Orange, Red and Yellow Flowers

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This gallery contains 20 photos.

The flowers on the Red, Yellow and Mexican Bird of Paradise bushes are thriving in the sweltering heat.  Vivid energetic colors of this drought tolerant shrub are sure to catch the eye of any passer-by. This is one of our favorite desert … Continue reading

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Pruning Desert Bird of Paradise bushes and shrubs

flowering desert shrubs fern leaves Texas

AZ TX Desert Bushes with Red Orange Flowers fern leaves

When should you prune desert bird of paradise shrubs?

Caesalpinia pulcherrima plant with red flowers fern leaves

Red Bird of Paradise shrubs orange flowers and fern leaves in the AZ TX desert

Pruning your Red Bird of Paradise,  Caesalpinia pulcherrima , which is what I have, should be in late winter or early spring.

Arizona bushes with red flowers

Red Bird of Paradise is sometimes called Mexican Bird of Paradise

I pruned mine a few weeks ago with a sharp pair of garden sheers. Many people cut these plants almost to the ground. I don’t, I prune my Red Bird of Paradise bushes about 18 inches from ground level.

Red Bird of Paradise cutting

Trimming Caesalpinia pulcherrima – pruning desert Bird of Paradise bushes

Red, Yellow and Mexican Bird of Paradise bushes, trees, and shrubs thrive in dry conditions; once established, they are drought tolerant plants, with fern looking leaves blooming with orange, red or yellow flowers.

Texas shrubs with orange red flowers

Red Desert Bird of Paradise, drought tolerant plants

bushes with bean pods orange flowers

Red Bird of Paradise shrub in AZ TX CA Mexico

The Yellow and Mexican Bird of Paradise need very little pruning.

Caesalpinia gilliesii is a drought tolerant desert shrub

Yellow Bird of Paradise has red stamens and yellow flowers

Caesalpinia gilliesii, or sometimes called Yellow Bird of Paradise or Desert Bird of Paradise is a shrub that has been naturalized in Texas;  planted as to give an effect of wild growth and may some year be considered native in the rest of the southwestern US.  In the photo below see the yellow bird of paradise, Caesalpinia gilliesii.

TX bush with yellow flowers and bean pods

Yellow flowering Bird of Paradise, Caesalpinia gilliesii

This yellow flowering desert shrub has clusters of beautiful yellow flowers with long red stamens.  The Yellow Bird of Paradise is a fast growing, upright shrub that is originally from Argentina.  Pruning your Yellow Bird of Paradise bush will encourage dense growth.

Caesalpinia gilliesii mistaken for Mexican Bird of Paradise

Yellow blooming Bird of Paradise desert bush in AZ TX CA

Yellow Bird of Paradise is drought tolerant and very durable, also cold and heat tolerant. Exposure to full sun is best for ALL Bird of Paradise Plants.   The yellow bird of paradise shrub is toxic.  

drought tolerant desert bush shrub

Yellow Bird of Paradise bush with Red Stamens bean pods

This Hardy Bird of Paradise shrub can grow to the height of 10 ft.

In the early Spring, prune to remove dead or damaged stems.  In the summer water your Yellow Bird of Paradise every week.  Water it deeply to stimulate an effective root system and tap-root.

The Mexican Bird of Paradise bush can be pruned and trained into a small tree, see photo below.

Bushes with round leaves yellow flowers desert

Mexican Bird of Paradise bush yellow flowers round leaves

desert shrub with yellow flowers in Arizona

Caesalpinia mexicana, Mexican Bird of Paradise with yellow flowers round leaves

In the photo ABOVE see the yellow flowers and rounded shape of the leaves on the Mexican Bird of Paradise bush or tree.

Caesalpinia mexicana yellow flowers

Mexican Bird of Paradise tree shrub with yellow flowers

Whether you pick the Yellow, Mexican or Red Bird of Paradise shrubs or trees,  you are certainly choosing a winner for your desert garden!

shrubs with bean pods red flowers

Desert bush with orange red yellow flowers, bean pods

Mexican, Yellow and Red Bird of Paradise bushes – these plants in Tucson are poisonous – Toxicity information

People have asked me – Is the Red Bird of Paradise toxic?

Poisonous Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise is poisonous

red bird of paradise

caesalpinia pulcherrima – red bird of paradise

Yes all the bird of paradise flowering bushes are poisonous.  The orange and yellow flowers of the Caesalpinia pulcherrima, make a stunning bush.

Caesalpinia pulcherrima poisonous bush

poisonous Red Bird of Paradise

The Mexican Bird of Paradise tree has yellow flowers that look velvety and delicious!

The Yellow Bird of paradise plant has clusters of yellow flowers with a long red stamen.

But DO NOT eat any part of the 3 Bird of Paradise plants.

All of these gorgeous desert bushes belong to the genus Caesalpinia.

bush with yellow flowers bean pods

poisonous Yellow Bird of Paradise

Caesalpinia is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family, FABACEAE.  The fruit of these Bird of Paradise desert bushes is a long, flat seed pod.

The bean pods are toxic!  Watch small children and pets around your Bird of Paradise shrubs.

The level of toxicity for the bird of paradise plants is low however, the leaves contain hydrocyanic acid.  The toxins in the bean pods are tannins. The role of tannins in many species of plants is to protect the plant from predators.

Ingesting any part of these bird of paradise plants can cause gastrointestinal irritation. Nausea, diarrhea and vomiting are symptoms of bird of paradise poisoning.

yellow flowering small tree

Poisonous Mexican Bird of Paradise

While the Red, Yellow and Mexican Bird of Paradise plant’s toxins are not life-threatening; however, diarrhea and vomiting can produce dehydration. Those symptoms should be taken seriously and you should seek medical treatment.

 

Yellow flowering bush with round leaves – native Mexican plants

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What is the small tree with yellow flowers and round leaves in Arizona?  The Caesalpinia mexicana, Mexican Bird of Paradise, is a flowering plant species in the pea family, Fabaceae. This drought tolerant, perennial tree is native to Mexico and the extreme lower … Continue reading

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Plants, Bush with Red, Orange and Yellow Flowers in Arizona – Red Bird of Paradise, Caesalpinia pulcherrima

What is the desert flowering bush with Red, Yellow and Orange Flowers?  This common Tucson, Phoenix, AZ and Texas desert shrub is called the Red Bird of Paradise.

orange and yellow flowering bush

Bird of Paradise bush with orange yellow flowers

bean pods on arizona bushes

Caesalpinia pulcherrima, Red Bird of Paradise bean pods

It is one of the easiest desert flowers / plants to grow and take care of in the Phoenix, Tucson area of Arizona, along with Texas, California and throughout the Southwest. It is deciduous (loses its leaves seasonally), but will bloom constantly through the summer.

bushes with yellow orange flowers

Red Bird Of Paradise plants attract butterflies

arizona bush with yellow orange flowers

orange and yellow flowering bushes

The Red Bird of Paradise makes a good hedge.  The Orange and Yellow flowers are one of the best plants for butterflies & hummingbirds!

Caesalpinia pulcherrima bushes with orange flowers

Red Bird of Paradise, Pride of Barbados

The botanical name for Red Bird of Paradise is Caesalpinia pulcherrima, it is a species in the FABACEAE Family, more commonly known as the pea, bean or legume family. Red Bird of Paradise is also the NATIONAL flower of the Caribbean island of Barbados, which is why you may hear it called Pride of Barbados.

Caesalpinia pulcherrima bush in Tucson

orange and yellow flowers continually bloom in the desert

Red Bird of Paradise is very hardy, drought resistant, tolerant once established. (they can have very long taproots) With a little mulch at the base, they come back year after year.

Red Bird of Paradise orange flowers

Red Bird of Paradise orange flowers

Pride of Barbados, flowering bush

orange red yellow flowers on the Red Bird of Paradise

The Red Bird of Paradise is a shrub that enjoys full sun and has bright red and orange flowers, with a splash of yellow that grow out of long, thin stalks.

Caesalpinia pulcherrima

bushes with red orange flowers in AZ TX CA

The leaves are lacy,  ferny-looking. It is a fairly fast grower, and can get large, so periodic trimming, pruning is suggested. The better drainage you have the healthier this flowering plant will be.

I’ve heard people in Tucson and Phoenix, AZ refer to this orange and yellow desert bush as the Mexican Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia mexicana). The actual Mexican Bird of Paradise has only yellow flowers and rounded leaves.

shrub with yellow flowers and round leaves

round leaves and yellow flowers of the Mexican Bird of Paradise Caesalpinia mexicana

Tucson flowering bush Pride of Barbados

vivid orange, red and yellow blooms

Orange yellow flowers on Red Bird of Paradise Shrub

Orange flowers on the Red Bird of Paradise Shrub

Bird of Paradise bushes are Perennial (you need to plant them only once) and provide vibrant orange and yellow color many times during the year!

Peat Pots, provides easy transplanting

To germinate the Red Bird of Paradise seeds, I simply soak the seeds from the bean pods in water for 24-48 hours.  I plant them in peat pots, barely cover the seeds. They germinate. If you decide to use the paper towel method to germinate your Bird of Paradise seeds, if a white shoot appears, plant it with the white root DOWN. Cover the seeds lightly with damp soil.  Red Bird of Paradise seeds need at least 8 hours of sun, but not direct sun it will be too hot! You can start to give them a little more direct sun after the first leaves appear.

Red Bird of Paradise Bean Pods

Bean Pods and Orange, Yellow Flowers

Peat Pots are great and make growing and transplanting your Red Bird of Paradise seedlings much easier. Start your seeds indoors and when you are ready to plant your Bird of Paradise just put the entire pot in the ground. Roots will penetrate the peat pot and the pot disintegrates enriching the soil.

shrub with orange yellow red flowers

young Bird of Paradise, Caesalpinia pulcherrima

Caring for your Bird of Paradise plant:

Exposure: full sun,  gets leggy in shade and blooming is reduced

sometimes called the Mexican Bird of Paradise bush

lacy leaves and yellow , orange flowers of the Pride of Barbados

Maintenance:   pruning every year; sometimes pruned to ground in winter, periodic trimming to keep it shaped.

Tucson Phoenix orange flower bushes

Red Bird of Paradise shrubs with orange blooms

Water:  deep irrigation; once per week while blooming; height and growth rate determined by water supply; Bird of Paradise bushes and shrubs are drought resistant

Propagation: been pod seed, very ease

Soil: tolerant, good drainage

Hardiness: damaged at 32°F, with increasing damage as temperature decreases

Leaves: fern-like, normally bright green turning red in winter, sometimes leafless in winter

Range:  common throughout Sonoran deserts, Arizona, naturalized in Texas

Red Bird of Paradise drought resistant tolerant

Red Bird of Paradise with yellow and orange flowers is drought resistant/tolerant

Red Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) This plant has lacy leaves that fold up at night & spread open in the sun.

Red Bird of Paradise

Orange flowering bush in Arizona and Texas – Red Bird of Paradise

This large bush with abundant orange and yellow flowers THRIVES in intense heat and looks amazing with cactus, succulents in your landscaping.

Ocotillo cactus and Red Bird of Paradise landscaping.

Ocotillo cactus and Red Bird of Paradise landscaping

purple flowering bush red flowering shrub

Purple Texas Sage and Red Bird of Paradise Bushes

TIDBITS:  The Amazon Rainforest Medicine men had some medicinal uses for Red Bird of ParadiseCaesalpinia pulcherrima. Four grams from the root was used to induce abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy.  The bean pods and seeds of the Bird of Paradise plant are toxic / poisonous and will cause abdominal symptoms and vomiting.