The royal poinciana was brought to Hawaiʻi by the great botanist Dr. Hillebrand in 1855. This tree remains a popular ornamental today and is widely cultivated. Rarely found growing wild in its native land of Madagascar, it isn’t listed as endangered due to the widespread cultivation.
The spectacular red flowers bloom from January to October. A grand specimen shade tree, the royal poinciana has a broad, spreading, flat canopy full of feathery leaflets. This mighty tree can damage streets, foundations, and rock walls from its aggressive root system. Nitrogen-fixing tree and drought tolerant, it grows well in dry areas.
The tree can be messy when it drops its leaves in the winter months. The tree litter is allelopathic.
- Lei flower
- Nitrogen fixer