from the February 19, 2012 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá
Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO
YELLOW DWARF POINCIANA
Dwarf Poincianas, CAESALPINIA PULCHERRIMA, are native to tropical America but are planted worldwide in the tropics because they're so pretty and easy to grow. Most have flowers like the predominantly reddish ones we photographed back in 2006, shown in the next section.
The other day in backstreet Pisté a cultivar turned up with all-yellow flowers. It was the Yellow Dwarf Poinciana, Caesalpinia pulcherrima 'flava.' You can see the plant's flowers with very long, slender stamens, unopened flower buds, and ferny leaves above. A close-up just so we can admire the two-inch wide flowers (5cm) with their crinkly-margined petals is below:
These are so frequently planted that they're known by a host of names other than Dwarf Poinciana -- such as Peacock Flower, Barbados Pride, Barbados Flower-fence, Red Bird-of-Paradise, and more.
from the March 18, 2006 Newsletter issued
from Hacienda San Juan just east of Telchac Pueblo, northwestern Yucatán, MÉXICO
A DWARF POINCIANA'S SNAPPING LEGUMES
I watched the fighting iguanas from the roof of my lodging, with a Dwarf Poinciana, POINCIANA PULCHERRIMA, right below me. I've mentioned how hummingbirds love this little tree's large, red-and-orange blossoms. These trees, watered regularly, somehow have kept blooming ever since I arrived here in October, though now they bear many more fruits than flowers. That's the pretty flowers and feathery, mimosa-like leaves at the right.
On that late afternoon with a very hot wind blowing and the sunlight at its most ferocious, curious snapping sounds began originating inside the tree. It was about as loud as snapped fingers but with a dry, woody character. After looking several times, trying to catch the snapper, finally I saw a split-open seed pod, or legume, tumbling from the tree immediately after a snap.