101 YUCATAN TREES INDEX

ROYAL POINCIANA - Flamboy√°n

Any fair-sized, ornamental, tropical tree with dark green, twice-compound leaves and with branches absolutely burgeoning with bright red, saucer-sized flowers surely is the abundantly planted and much-loved Royal Poinciana, also called Peacock-Flower, Flamboyant and other English names. It's Delonix regia, a native to Madagascar but one of the most planted of all tropical, ornamental trees. Its flowers are shown below:

ROYAL POINCIANA

The Royal Poinciana's peak flowering time occurs as the dry season changes to the rainy, in May or thereabouts. The twice-compound, Acacia-like leaves cue us to the fact that Royal Poincianas belong to the big Bean Family. The Bean Family relationship becomes more obvious deep in the dry season when the tree loses its leaves and drops its two-ft-long (60cm), legume-type fruiting pods. That's the woody half of one split-apart legume below:

ROYAL POINCIANA pod half

The "notches" in the legume's inner wall are where the beans nestled before the pod split apart. During the dry season when Royal Poincianas are leafless and full of dangling, brown legumes of this kind, the tree is a bit homely. However, as soon as the rainy season brings back the lush herbage and gorgeous flowers, all is forgiven.

101 YUCATAN TREES INDEX