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 Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
All parts of this Mexican plant are poisonous. The showy Mexican Bird of Paradise shrub thrives in dry conditions. Once the roots are established, they are drought tolerant.
If you are looking for a small shade tree that is flowering and easy to care for; the Mexican Bird of Paradise is perfect for your yard and a good choice for xeriscape desert gardens.
Caesalpinia mexicana, Mexican Poinciana, does best in full sun. It is a perennial flowering tree that is heat resistant; with rounded leaves and spikes of solid yellow flower clusters. The fragrant yellow flowers of this Bird of Paradise are very showy and will bloom throughout the year! The USDA Hardiness Zone is 9.
In the photo ABOVE see the rounded shape of the leaves and the yellow flowers of the native Mexican Bird of Paradise.
The “Red Bird of Paradise”, – commonly but mistakenly called (The Mexican Bird of Paradise), – has Red, Orange and Yellow Flowers. See the Picture below.
The Mexican Bird of Paradise bush can be pruned and trained into a small tree.
How to grow bird of paradise plants from Bean Pods
Germinating the seeds for this Mexican Bird of Paradise will be easy! Simply soak the seeds from the bean pods in water for 48 hours or like many people use a damp paper towel. If you are using the paper towel method to germinate your seeds-when a white shoot appears-plant it with the white shoot facing DOWN.
To plant and grow your bird of paradise — plant the seed in peat pots. Cover the seeds lightly with damp vermiculite or your choice of a good soil.
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.
Peat Pots are great and make growing and transplanting your Mexican, Yellow or 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.