Caesalpinia Species, Gray Nickerbean, Fever Nut, Mysore Thorn, Nicker Nut, Yellow Nicker

Caesalpinia bonduc

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Caesalpinia (ses-al-PIN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: bonduc (BONN-duck) (Info)
Synonym:Caesalpinia bonducella




Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida(2 reports)

Cape Canaveral, Florida

Fort Pierce, Florida

Key West, Florida

Miami Beach, Florida

Venice, Florida

Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 19, 2014, ranjp520 from Whisper Walk, FL wrote:

We are located in Boca Raton, Florida and planted a butterfly garden last year and have had great success. We have been fortunate enough to have Miami Blue butterflies visit our butterfly garden. I couldn't believe my eyes so I had to take a few pictures. We would like to see more of them since they haven't been seen in the Florida Keys. We are planting a gray nickerbean plant soon.


On May 2, 2013, BflyLady from North Bay Village, FL wrote:

Gray nickerbean is the host plant for the almost extinct Miami Blue butterfly, whose last documented colony is located in Bahia Honda Park in the FL Keys. Gray nickerbean is growing well in several locations inside the North Shore Open Space Park, located in Miami Beach, but unfortunately no butterflies.


On Nov 10, 2012, capricho from Houston, TX wrote:

Would like to have this plant. Please contactme at [email protected]


On Jan 24, 2009, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant. Gray Nicker, Gray Nickerbean (Caesalpinia bonduc) can be found growing natively in only Red River County in Texas. It is also native to Florida, Hawaii (probably introduced and naturalized), Louisiana, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.


On Jun 6, 2008, cactus_lover from FSD,
Pakistan (Zone 10b) wrote:

Uses: Febrifuge and treatment for snake bites


On Feb 19, 2007, ara133 from State College, PA wrote:

Quite easy to germinate once seed is scarified; grows well as a houseplant if provided enough light (mine is currently in a large terrarium (with more ventilation than a typical setup) and doing really well.


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

Gray Nicker, Gray Nickerbean, Nicker Nut, Fever Nut, Hold Back, Wait-a-bit Vine Caesalpinia bonduc is Native to Texas and other States.


On Feb 5, 2005, ForrestGump from Melbourne, FL wrote:

Found a number of plants growing on the back dune of the Cape Canaveral beach. The spiny seed pods are intimidating, but simply handle with care or use gloves. The shoots also have spines so be careful. I find the seed to be quite beautiful in color, and have found them washed up along the beach. This would be an interesting plant to grow.


On Sep 18, 2004, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Gray Nicker or Gray Nickerbean is a salt-tolerant, hardy plant native from coastal north-central and central Florida south through the Keys. It is an excellent, salt-tolerant plant for seaside locations. It can be invasive, however, as it often forms dense thickets climbing as a vine or tall shrub high over native vegetation; however, it is not as invasive as other plants which are not native; one of them, Brazilian Peppertree, can crowd out Gray Nickerbean. If trimmed, this plant could be kept under control. Flowers are deep yellow, maybe orangish, to pale yellow. A thumbs-up plant for a native plant garden or regular garden near oceanside locations!