Flamboyant tree


Flamboyant tree, royal poinciana, or flame tree, is native to Madagascar. It reaches a height of 50 feet, with a trunk 2 feet in diameter. The crown is umbrella-shaped and is frequently wider than the height of the tree. The leaves are up to 20 inches long and have over a thousand leaflets. Flowers are up to 5 inches wide and appear in terminal racemes. Fruits are hard capsules, up to 2 feet long, that open on both sides to liberate many long seeds. It flowers from spring to early autumn and has fruits throughout the year. The generic name derives from two Greek words meaning conspicuous claw, in reference to the shape of the petals. The species name means regal or exceptional, in reference to the beauty of the flowers.

The photographed tree is near the main entrance to the university. Royal poinciana is very common in the campus, the largest concentration of specimens is in front of the Rafael Mangual Colisseum. The tree growing northeast of the Angel Espada Gymnasium was planted by Manuel A. Pérez in 1975.

Delonix regia (Fabaceae)