PlantFiles is getting a new look! Just in time for spring, we're rolling out a new look for the best online plants database. It will also work with your smart phones and mobile devices, so now you can take it with you on garden center visits or botanical garden tours. Questions or comments? Please post them here.
Family: Caesalpiniaceae (ses-al-pin-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Caesalpinia (ses-al-PIN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: pauciflora (PAW-ki-flor-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Libidibia pauciflora
Synonym:Poinciana pauciflora



Tropicals and Tender Perennials


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Blooms all year



Other details:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry


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

Big Pine Key, Florida

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 22, 2011, olddude from Big Pine Key, FL (Zone 11) wrote:

This plant lives up to its common name having few flowers open at the same time. Holdback is a reference to the rose like thorns that quickly catch on clothing. Recently an estimate of 25,000 individual plants located in the Fl.Keys has change the status classification from endangered to rare.


On Jan 17, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

This spreading shrub with yellow flowers, a member of the same family as Cassias (Sennas), which has been debated, is native to the rocky pinelands, keys, and coastal sites and hammocks and sandy sites of far southern Florida in far southern Miami-Dade County and the Keys, zones 10b through 11. It is a medium to large, spreading shrub and possibly sometimes a small tree. The flowers are bright or pale yellow to yellow-orange. The leaves are smooth, and are the characteristic leaves of the Sennas, Cassias and Locusts and Tamarinds. The attractive flowers are useful to wildlife by attracting pollinating insects. It is a useful plant for butterflies and insects. Sadly, due to habitat destruction, this plant is listed as endangered by the state of Florida. It may be available in some nurseries... read more


On Jun 14, 2004, TamiMcNally from Lake Placid, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

FL - endangered