Overview

Brief Summary

Description

The flame tree, also known as royal poinciana or flamboyant, is a member of the bean family (Leguminosae) and is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful tropical trees in the world (2) (1) (3). This aptly named tree produces striking flame-like scarlet and yellow flowers in spring before the leaves emerge (2) (3). As the trees mature, they develop broad umbrella-shaped crowns, and are often planted for their shade-giving properties (2). The delicate, fern-like leaves are composed of small individual leaflets, which fold up at the onset of dusk (2). This tree produces brown, woody seed pods that reach lengths of up to 60 cm (2) (3); they turn reddish-brown to almost black when ripe (4).
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Biology

The beautiful flowers of the flame tree are pollinated by birds (2). The flowers are produced in spring and summer and the leaves are shed in the dry season (2).
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Comprehensive Description

Miscellaneous Details

Notes: Planted as gardens and along roadsides
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Description

Tree, ± flat-topped, often multi-trunked and branching near the base. Leaves alternate, c. 40 × 20 cm with c.15 pairs of opposite pinnae, each pinna bearing 25-30 pairs of opposite leaflets. Petiole and rhachis channelled above. Leaflets 8 × 3 mm, oblong, minutely pubescent. Sepals 3 × 0.7 cm, narrowly elliptic, green on the back, scarlet on the adaxial side, acute. Petals 5; lower four petals long-clawed; lamina 5 cm, elliptic, scarlet; upper petal longer, yellow. Pods 35 - 80 cm, pendulous.
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Derivation of specific name

regia: splendid, royal
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Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Range Description

This deciduous species is native to west and north Madagascar but is cultivated throughout this and many other tropical countries.
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Maharashtra: Kolhapur
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Worldwide distribution

Native of Madagascar; very commonly planted in Zimbabwe as a street tree.
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Range

This tree is native to west and north Madagascar (1), but it has been widely cultivated elsewhere (3).
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Distribution: A native of Madagascar, now cultivated throughout the tropics; common throughout plains of W. Pakistan.
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A native of western Madagascar not known in a wild state until 1932, widely cultivated in the tropics.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Perennial, Trees, Woody throughout, Stems erect or ascending, Stems or branches arching, spreading or decumbent, Stems greater than 2 m tall, Stems solid, Stems or young twigs glabrous or sparsely glabrate, Leaves alternate, Leaves petiolate, Stipules conspicuous, Stipules deciduous, Stipules free, Stipules toothed or laciniate, Leaves compound, Leaves bipinnate, Leaf or leaflet margins entire, Leaflets opposite, Leaflets 10-many, Leaves glabrous or nearly so, Leaves hairy on one or both surfaces, Inflorescences racemes, Inflorescence panicles, Inflorescence terminal, Bracts very small, absent or caducous, Flowers actinomorphic or somewhat irregular, Calyx 5-lobed, Calyx glabrous, Petals separate, Petals clawed, Petals red, Petals orange or yellow, Stamens 9-10, Stamens completely free, separate, Stamens monadelphous, united below, Stamens long exserted, Filaments hairy, villous, Filaments pink or red, Style terete, Fruit a legume, Fruit stipitate, Fruit unilocular, Fruit tardily or weakly dehiscent, Fruit elongate, straight, Fruit oblong or ellipsoidal, Fruit or valves persistent on stem, Fruit coriaceous or becoming woody, Fruit exserted from calyx, Fruit glabrous or glabrate, Fruit 11-many seeded, Seeds ovoid to rounded in outline, Seed surface smooth, Seeds olive, brown, or black.
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Dr. David Bogler

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Description

A large deciduous tree, c. 12-17 m high. Leaves bipinnate, up to 60 cm long, pinnae 11-18 pairs, leaflets 20-30 pairs on each pinna, oblong, 7.5-10 mm long, 3.5-4 mm wide. Stipules lateral, pinnately compound. Inflorescence lax terminal or axillary raceme. Flowers 10 cm across, bright red in colour. Sepals 5, crimson on inside. Petals 5, 4 c. 3.7 cm wide, clawed, 1 petal (standard) c. 5 cm wide, yellow or white, streaked with red. Stamens 10, free, much exserted. Pods 30-50 cm long, 5 cm broad, compressed, firm, rather thick. Seeds 20-40, oblong, transverse, mottled.
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Elevation Range

200-1000 m
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

Habit: Tree
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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This tropical tree can grow in a wide range of habitats, including disturbed sites (3). It grows in full sun and can tolerate sandy, loamy, clay, acidic and alkaline soils (5).
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flower/Fruit

Fl. Per.: Summer months.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Delonix regia

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Delonix regia

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 13
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

Reasons: One of the most exclusively planted ornamental trees in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world and locally escaping or naturalized. Southern Florida including Florida Keys, southern California, Bermuda, and throughout West Indies. Widely planted along roadsides in both the moist and dry areas almost throughout Puerto Rico. Sometimes escaping cultivation and becoming naturalized.

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
B1+2c

Version
2.3

Year Assessed
1998
  • Needs updating

Assessor/s
Du Puy, D. et al.

Reviewer/s

Contributor/s

History
  • 1997
    Indeterminate
    (Walter and Gillett 1998)
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Status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU B1+2c) on the IUCN Red List 2003 (1).
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Threats

Major Threats
The main native subpopulations found around Antsiranana occur in areas that are threatened from charcoal production. It is used widely as an ornamental tree.
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Habitat destruction has been particularly severe in Madagascar. Most of the human population of the island are found in rural communities dependent on the resources of the forest for survival (6). Since humans arrived on the island around 2000 years ago, a staggering 80% of the forest cover has been lost (6). The major native populations of the flame tree which occur around Antsiranana are found in areas greatly threatened by charcoal production (1).
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Management

Conservation

Although widely cultivated around the world and widely loved for its dazzling display of flowers in spring and summer, unfortunately the native populations of the flame tree are classified as globally Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List (1).
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Wikipedia

Delonix regia

"Gulmohar" redirects here. For other uses, see Gulmohar (disambiguation).

Delonix regia is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, subfamily Caesalpinioideae. It is noted for its fern-like leaves and flamboyant display of flowers. In many tropical parts of the world it is grown as an ornamental tree and in English it is given the name Royal Poinciana or Flamboyant. It is also one of several trees known as Flame tree.

In Nepal,India and Pakistan it is known as Gulmohar گل مور or گلمور in Hindi and Urdu. In Persian "gul" means "flower", and "mohr" means "coin" or "stamp". Also "mor" means "peacock", which seems to be most close to physical appearance and beauty of this tree. It is also known there as Krishnachura or Krusnachuda (Bengali/Oriya: crown of the Krishna) and Krishnasura (in Assamese and Bengali). In Kerala, it is known as Kaalvaripoo (കാൽവരിപ്പൂവ്). In Vietnam, it is known as Phượng vĩ (means "Phoenix's Tail) (Vietnamese), Malinche, and Tabachine.[1] In Guatemala, Antigua Guatemala, it is known as "Llama del Bosque". In Khmer, the tree and the flower is known collectively as "Peacock" or ដើម (tree) or ផ្កា (flower) «ក្ងោក»។ .

This species was previously placed in the genus Poinciana, named for Phillippe de Longvilliers de Poincy, the 17th century governor of Saint Christophe (Saint Kitts). Because it is a legume, the tree has nitrogen-fixating and soil-improving properties.

Description[edit]

The tree's vivid red/vermilion/orange/yellow flowers and bright green foliage make it an exceptionally striking sight.

Flower, leaves & pods in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Delonix regia var. flavida is a rarer, yellow-flowered variety.[2]

The Royal Poinciana is found in Madagascar's dry deciduous forests. In the wild it is endangered, but it is widely cultivated elsewhere. In addition to its ornamental value, it is also a useful shade tree in tropical conditions, because it usually grows to a modest height (mostly 5 meters, but it can reach an maximum height of 12 meters) but spreads widely, and its dense foliage provides full shade. In areas with a marked dry season, it sheds its leaves during the drought, but in other areas it is virtually evergreen. Flowers appear in corymbs along and at the ends of branches. Pods are green and flaccid when young and turn dark-brown and woody.[3]

Flower (Kibbutz Ginnosar, Israel)
Flamboyant tree (Ateneo de Manila University).
The Royal Poinciana (Island of Mauritius)

The flowers are large, with four spreading scarlet or orange-red petals up to 8 cm long, and a fifth upright petal called the standard, which is slightly larger and spotted with yellow and white. The naturally occurring variety flavida has yellow flowers.[2] Seed pods are dark brown and can be up to 60 cm long and 5 cm wide; the individual seeds, however, are small, weighing around 0.4 g on average. The compound leaves have a feathery appearance and are a characteristic light, bright green. They are doubly pinnate: Each leaf is 30–50 cm long and has 20 to 40 pairs of primary leaflets or pinnae on it, and each of these is further divided into 10-20 pairs of secondary leaflets or pinnules.

Environmental requirements[edit]

The Royal Poinciana requires a tropical or near-tropical climate, but can tolerate drought and salty conditions. The Poinciana prefers an open, free-draining sandy or loamy soil enriched with organic matter. The tree does not like heavy or clay soils and flowers more profusely when kept slightly dry. The Poinciana is very widely grown in the Caribbean, Africa, Northern Australia (the southern extremes previously limited to South East Queensland, although it now grows and blooms successfully in Sydney with flowering trees identified in the suburbs of Petersham, Parramatta, Guildford, Warwick Farm and Kurmond), Hong Kong, the Canary Islands, Mexico, Cyprus, Malta, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan, southern China. It is the official tree in Vietnam Tainan, Taiwan; Xiamen, Fujian Province, People's Republic of China; and Shantou, Canton Province, People's Republic of China. National Cheng Kung University, a university located in Tainan, put Royal Poinciana on its emblem. It also grows throughout southern Brazil, with ornamental trees in Rio Grande do Sul (Canoas and Porto Alegre).[4] [5]

Geographical growth range[edit]

Close up of bark
Gordonvale, Queensland. Seed pods visible on upper branches.

Delonix regia is endemic to the western forests of Madagascar, but has been introduced into tropical and sub-tropical regions worldwide. In the continental United States, it grows in South Florida, Southwest Florida, the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, ranging from the low deserts of Southern Arizona (to as high as Tucson), and Southern California. It also grows in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti, Hawaii, Mexico (especially in the Yucatan peninsula), Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, where it is the official tree of the islands. It is much loved in the Caribbean; many Dominican & Puerto Rican paintings feature Flamboyant Trees. It can also be found in The Bahamas. The Poinciana is the national flower of St. Kitts and Nevis. The island of Mauritius has widespread distribution of the Royal Poinciana where it announces the coming of the new year.

Royal Poinciana seeds after soaking them in water for 6 days

The Royal Poinciana is regarded as naturalised in many of the locations where it is grown. It is a popular street tree in the suburbs of Brisbane, Australia. The tree is also found in India and Pakistan, where it is referred to as the Gulmohar, or Gul Mohr.[6] In West Bengal (India) and Bangladesh it is called Krishnachura.

The town of Peñuelas, Puerto Rico, located about 12 miles west of Ponce, is nicknamed "El Valle de los Flamboyanes" ("The Valley of the Poinciana Trees"), as many Flamboyant trees are found along the surrounding Río Guyanes, Río Macana, and Río Tallaboa Rivers.

In Vietnam, this tree is called "Phượng vỹ", or phoenix's tail, and is a popular urban tree in much of Vietnam. Its flowering season is May - July, which coincides with the end of the school year in Vietnam. Because of this timing, the flower of Poinciana is sometimes called the "flower of pupil". Hai Phong city is nicknamed "Thành phố hoa phượng đỏ" ("City of red Poinciana").

Cultural significance[edit]

In the Indian state of Kerala, Royal Poinciana is called Kaalvarippoo which means the flower of Calvary. There is a popular belief among Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala that when Jesus was crucified, there was a small Royal Poinciana tree nearby his Cross. It is believed that the blood of Jesus Christ was shed over the flowers of the tree and this is how the flowers of Royal Poinciana got a sharp red color.[7]

Propagation[edit]

The Royal Poinciana is most commonly propagated by seeds. Seeds are collected, soaked in warm water for at least 24 hours, and planted in warm, moist soil in a semi-shaded, sheltered position. In lieu of soaking, the seeds can also be 'knicked' or 'pinched' (with a small scissors or nail clipper) and planted immediately. These two methods allow moisture to penetrate the tough outer casing, stimulating germination. The seedlings grow rapidly and can reach 30 cm in a few weeks under ideal conditions.

Less common, but just as effective, is propagation by semi-hardwood cuttings. Branches consisting of the current or last season's growth can be cut into 30 cm sections and planted in a moist potting mixture. This method is slower than seed propagation (cuttings take a few months to root) but is the preferred method for ensuring new trees are true to form. As such, cuttings are a particularly common method of propagation for the rarer yellow-flowering variety of the tree.

Flowering season[edit]

Royal poinciana in Martin County, Florida, May
Gulmohar flowers in New Delhi
  • Bangladesh: April–May
  • South Florida: May–June
  • Egypt: May–June
  • Vietnam: May–July
  • Caribbean: May–September
  • Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh): April–June
  • Australia: December–February
  • Northern Mariana Islands: March–June
  • United Arab Emirates: May–July
  • Brazil: November–February
  • Southern Sudan: March–May
  • Thailand: April–May
  • Philippines: April–May
  • Zambia and Zimbabwe: October–December
  • Hong Kong: May–June
  • Mauritius: November–December

References[edit]

  1. ^ Presentación de PowerPoint
  2. ^ a b Don Burke (1 November 2005). The complete Burke's backyard: the ultimate book of fact sheets. Murdoch Books. p. 269. ISBN 978-1-74045-739-2. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  3. ^ http://greencleanguide.com/2012/07/25/delonix-regia/
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ http://gardendrum.com/2013/02/06/is-that-a-poinciana/
  6. ^ Cowen, D. V. (1984). Flowering Trees and Shrubs in India, Sixth Edition. Bombay: THACKER and Co. Ltd. p. 1. 
  7. ^ Annamma Thomas; T. M. Thomas (1984). Kerala Immigrants in America: A Sociological Study of the St. Thomas Christians. Simons Printers. p. 34. 
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Notes

Comments

Flamboyant Tree is one of the most beautiful avenue trees.
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