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Poinciana in bloom at the Cayman Turtle Centre

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Poinciana in bloom at the Cayman Turtle Centre
30Jul 2014

July 30 , 2014…… Our beautiful Poinciana tree is in bloom at the Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter. Delonix regia is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, subfamily Caesalpinioideae. It is noted for its flamboyant display of flowers. In many tropical parts of the world it is grown as an ornamental tree and in English it is given the name Royal Poinciana or Flamboyant. It is also one of several trees known as a Flame Tree. The tree's vivid red, vermilion, orange, yellow flowers and bright green foliage make it an exceptionally striking sight.

Members of the massive legume family, Poinciana trees display feathery leaves and bear colorful five-petaled blossoms. Historically, Poinciana trees were in a botanical genus named Poinciana, which taxonomists consider defunct. They were originally named for Phillippe de Longvilliers de Poincy, the 17th century governor of Saint Christophe (Saint Kitts).Those trees in that old genus retained it as a common name, even though they exist today in botanical genera of different names.

All are tropical trees that grow their best in full sun conditions in regions where winters don't receive frosts and freezes. Some horticulturists regard the Royal Poinciana (Delonix regia) as the most beautiful flowering tree in the world. A partially deciduous tree from Madagascar, it drops leaves in the tropical dry season.

The Royal Poinciana is grown worldwide in tropical regions. It matures 30 to 50 feet tall. Anytime from late spring to midsummer, the branch tips bear large clusters of orange-red flowers all across the tree canopy. Each blossom comprises five club-shaped or clawlike petals, the uppermost a bit larger with speckles of white. Large dark brown seed pods follow and persist on branches.

In the Caribbean, the flowering season is from May to September. The Poinciana is very widely grown in the Caribbean, Africa, Northern Australia, Hong Kong, the Canary Islands, Mexico, Cyprus, Malta, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan, southern China, and southern Brazil.

For more information and admission rates, call the Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter on 949-3894, email or visit