Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Caesalpinia pulcherrima (L.) Sw.

Kingdom:Plantae
Phylum/Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Eudicots
Order:Fabales
Family:Fabaceae
Genus:Caesalpinia
Species:C. pulcherrima
Common Names:Peacock Flower
Status:Cultivated only

Description

This is a ornamental shrub that can grow into a small tree of 7 m high. Leaves are twice pinnate compound, alternately arranged, 20-35 cm long, with 4-9 pairs of sides-stalks that bear 6-11 pairs of 12-16 x 7-10 mm leaflets. Flowers are 3.5 cm wide, in loose bunches, showy, orange-red-yellow, scentless and with prominent long stamens. Fruits are oblong pods that split open exposing the flattened seeds.

The flowers are visited by sunbirds for the nectar while Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) eat the seeds.

Read more about the Fabales order.
Read more about the Fabaceae family.

Distribution

Possibly native to South America, now grown throughout the tropics.

Localities

Common along roadsides and gardens.

General Biology

There is a red flowered as well as a yellow flowered cultivars.

Human Uses

Commonly grown in gardens and parks for their attractive flowers and the sunbirds they attract.

References

Chong, K. Y., H. T. W. Tan & R. T. Corlett, 2009. A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore: Native, Naturalised and Cultivated Species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 273 pp.

Corner, E. J. H. 1988.  Waysides trees of Malaya.  Vol. 1-2.  Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur.

Henderson, M.R. 1959. Malayan wild flowers - Dicotyledons. Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur. 478 pp.

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