Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Mexican Bird of Paradise, Mexican Poinciana
Caesalpinia mexicana

Family: Caesalpiniaceae (ses-al-pin-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Caesalpinia (ses-al-PIN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: mexicana (meks-sih-KAY-nuh) (Info)

Synonym:Poinciana mexicana

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

15 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Blooms all year


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 41 photos.
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7 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive caligirl1 On May 1, 2013, caligirl1 from Visalia, CA wrote:

This is not a mexican BOP, it is a Desert BOP. Different look!

The hot inland central valley in California, seems to be the place for this variety to thrive. It really is spectacular in full bloom, and quite the conversation 'piece.'

Our growing zone is 9b.

Neutral palmbob On Jul 23, 2012, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Definitely the most aggressive and hardy of the Caesalpinias in my climate (southern California)... and prolific seed 'popper'... all summer long you can hear popping seed hulls and the seeds landing some 15'-20' away. Since our summers are so dry, it is not a big invasive species and rarely do these seeds germinate (haven't had a single one I know of).

Positive KanapahaLEW On Dec 27, 2010, KanapahaLEW from Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This was relatively to grow from seed. It finally bloomed in this, its third year, although the blooming came late (October/November). Frost (as low as 18F last year) kills the above-ground growth but it has come back from the roots each year.

Positive skaggs88 On Dec 27, 2010, skaggs88 from Spicewood, TX wrote:

Planted in full sun in hill country west of Austin, TX. It has survived drought and water rationing, and stilled bloomed beautifully. It survived the coldest winter in years at 14 degrees last winter, with no damage! We give it no winter protection, not even mulch. It is only about 5 feet tall, produces seed pods, but we have not seen any new trees come up.

Positive sunnydaze45 On Jul 1, 2010, sunnydaze45 from Mesa, AZ wrote:

This plant really loves the heat and sun. I have one planted as a small tree in the full sun in my backyard in Mesa Arizona and it blooms all year round. I had planted a few in an area with only partial sun and they just didn't do as well, blooming less and growth was leggy. Mexican Bird of Paradise provides a nice tropical look in the desert.

Positive babswalker07 On Jun 15, 2010, babswalker07 from San Angelo, TX wrote:

I have really enjoyed these small trees in Big Spring, TX. The only problem is they multiply easily and I have to just pull them up or as I do a lot, give them away! Blooms are beautiful. I have about 5 .. and who knows how many babies!

Positive agentdonny007 On Nov 11, 2008, agentdonny007 from Las Vegas, NV (Zone 8b) wrote:

Great vertical accent for desert landscape. Blooms spring through fall. Mostly evergreen in Las Vegas winters. Excellent for small yards or tight spaces where vertical interest is desired.

Neutral frostweed On Feb 15, 2007, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Mexican Bird of Paradise, Mexican Poinciana Caesalpinia mexicana is Naturalized in Texas and other States.

Positive AusTXpropagater On Sep 5, 2003, AusTXpropagater from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Caesalpinia mexicana, while less showy than C. pulcherima as individual blossoms, grows taller and produces numerous large racemes of bright yellow flowers in the dead of summer in Central Texas. It suffers a bit in winter -- especially from ice storms. It may lose a limb or most wood above ground in a hard freeze but usually comes back from the base. Attracts bees galore. Makes light, dappled shade -- a terrific patio specimen.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Seminole, Alabama
Chandler, Arizona
Goodyear, Arizona (2 reports)
Green Valley, Arizona
Maricopa, Arizona (2 reports)
Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Acton, California
Amesti, California
Aptos, California
Bostonia, California
Julian, California
La Quinta, California
Los Angeles, California
Martinez, California
Palm Desert, California
Palm Springs, California
Ramona, California
Redlands, California
Reseda, California (2 reports)
Ridgecrest, California
Rosedale, California
Big Pine Key, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Naples, Florida
Pinellas Park, Florida
Tampa, Florida (2 reports)
Zephyrhills, Florida
Las Vegas, Nevada (2 reports)
North Las Vegas, Nevada
Roswell, New Mexico
Kure Beach, North Carolina
Graniteville, South Carolina
Abilene, Texas
Austin, Texas (4 reports)
Big Spring, Texas
Brady, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
Copperas Cove, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Georgetown, Texas
Houston, Texas
La Porte, Texas
La Vernia, Texas
Magnolia, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
Montgomery, Texas
New Ulm, Texas
Plano, Texas
Salado, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Santa Fe, Texas
Spicewood, Texas

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