Arizona Wildlife

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

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

desert bird of paradise

desert shrubs with red orange flowers

orange and yellow flowering bush

Bird of Paradise bush with orange yellow flowers

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.

bean pods on arizona bushes

Caesalpinia pulcherrima, Red Bird of Paradise bean pods

This is one of the easiest desert flowering plants to grow and take care of in the Phoenix, Tucson area; along with Texas and California.  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

The Red Bird of Paradise makes a favorable hedge.  The orange and yellow flowers are one of the best plants to attract butterflies & hummingbirds!


arizona bush with yellow orange flowers

orange and yellow flowering bushes


Caesalpinia pulcherrima bushes with orange flowers

Red Bird of Paradise, Pride of Barbados

The Red Bird of Paradise plant is also the NATIONAL flower of the Caribbean island of Barbados, which is why you may hear it called Pride of Barbados.  Please note:  when purchasing this plant I have seen it labeled as “Pride of Barbados”.

Caesalpinia pulcherrima bush in Tucson

orange and yellow flowers continually bloom in the desert

This desert beauty is very hardy and drought resistant once it’s established; they can have a very long tap-root. With a little mulch at the base, your desert bird of paradise will come back year after year.

Caesalpinia pulcherrima

common bushes with red-orange flowers

The leaves are delicate lacy,  fern-looking. You may see this desert plant’s leaves fold up at night,  no worries; it is called Nyctinasty and is completely natural.   Bird of Paradise are fairly fast growers, and can get LARGE, so periodic trimming is suggested. The better water drainage you have the healthier this flowering plant will be.

Some people 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.  For more Mexican Bird of Paradise info

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

Check out our article link: If you are interested in growing your own Bird of Paradise plants from the bean pods.

Red Bird of Paradise Bean Pods

Bean Pods and Orange, Yellow Flowers


shrub with orange yellow red flowers

young Bird of Paradise, Caesalpinia pulcherrima

Pictured above is one of our young plants we are watering often until their tap-root is well established.

Mexican Bird of Paradise bush

fern looking leaves of the Pride of Barbados


Red Bird of Paradise

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

Here are some landscaping ideas to add colors to your garden area. 

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.

23 replies »

  1. I thought I posted a question yesterday, but I don’t see it here. So I’ll again (just in case). I’m moving to a new location and wonder if I could transplant my Red Bird of Paradise. I have two young plants (there was some blooming – but not much). PS. I live in AZ. Sharon

    Liked by 1 person

    • Without more facts, generally it would be not enough water or the water doesn’t go deep enough to the tap root. With high temps it may need a good soaking periodically. Give it a light pruning and it will bloom again and again.


  2. The stark contrast of the desert landscape with blooms of flowers is so beautiful. Your photos are wonderful and I so enjoy seeing them. My husband & I lived in the high desert in So. Calif. For most of the year it was brown everywhere except when the poppies came out, carpets of orange and red everywhere and it was something to behold. Yours here reminds me of that. Thank you. Paulette

    Liked by 1 person

    • These can grow large. We have several around our driveway which it seems I’m trimming once every other month. Now for winter, I will prune the Bird of Paradise approximately November, depending on the temperatures.
      Best Regards Lesli,


    • Hi Rich, the bean pods need to dry and turn brownish. Soak the seeds for a day or two before you plant them. Fall is right around the corner so you could hold on to the seeds till after winter.🙂 Not sure where you are located though?


  3. I’m surprised these are called Red Bird of Paradise. They don’t look anything like the more commonly known Bird of Paradise : – ) TJ, didn’t you used to have a “Contact Me” page? I can’t find it. I wanted to let you know that I have an article and a post ready to go on the topic of motivation (that we talked about). I’m just waiting for the editors to approve my article so I can link my blog to it.


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