Caesalpinia pulcherrima (L.) Sw.

Etymology Genus After Andreas Caesalpini, a 16th Italian botanist and physician to Pope Clement VIII
Species Beautiful, referring to its flowers
Family Fabaceae
Synonyms Poinciana pulcherrima L.
Common Names Peacock Flower, Pride of Barbados, Red Bird of Paradise
Status Exotic: Cultivated Only
Form Shrub
Native Distribution Obscure but possibly from South America


This shrub flowers almost perpetually in Singapore. The red flowers fringed with yellow borders, together with the long stamens and style are enough for identification. A cultivar with only yellow flowers is also cultivated here.

Interesting Facts:

The Peacock Flower is one of the most popular medium-sized shrubs cultivated in Singapore. However, it needs to be properly fertilised and and pruned back once a year for optimal appearance (Wee, 2003). This shrub is one of the host plants of the Common Grass Yellow butterfly.

The distribution is obscured because of its widespread cultivation and naturalisation throughtout the tropics (GRIN, 2004).

The Peacock Flower, one of the most common shrubs planted in Singapore.

Bipinnate leaves.

Red inflorescences fringed with yellow.

Fruit pods are flatten.

Prickles are present at the stem and branches.


GRIN (2004) Taxon: Caesalpinia pulcherrima (L.) Sw. Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Accessed on 10-Dec-2012.
Wee YC. (2003) Tropical Trees and Shrubs: A Selection for Urban Planting. Sun Tree Publishing, USA. 392 pp.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2012-12-10 / Modified: 2015-01-11