Poinciana Delonix regia

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Transcript of Poinciana Delonix regia

Delonix regia

Delonix regiaPoinciana

Delonix regia is a species of flowering plant in the bean family Fabaceae, subfamily Caesalpinoideae. It is noted for its fern-like leaves and 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 of course, common in the Coffs Harbour region. Several of the following images are from local street trees.This species was previously placed in the genus Poinciana, named for a 17th century governor of the Caribbean island of St Kitts. It is a non nodulating legume.

Originally from Madagascar, this large, spreading tree is now commonly found throughout tropical Australia. It can grow as tall as 1820 m and has smooth, grey bark and feathery, fern-like foliage which droop during the dry season. It flowers profusely, carrying showy red-orange blooms that appear around the same time as the new leaves. It produces long, leathery pods that split to reveal a number of seeds

The flowers of Delonix regia are large, with four spreading scarlet or orange-red petals up to 8cm long, and a fifth upright petal called the standard, which is slightly larger and spotted with yellow and white. They appear in corymbs along and at the ends of branches. The naturally occurring variety flavida (Bengali: Radhachura) has yellow flowers.[2] The pods are green and flaccid when young and turn dark-brown and woody. They can be up to 60cm long and 5cm wide. The seeds are small, weighing around 0.4 g on average. The compound leaves have a feathery appearance and are a characteristic light, bright green and are doubly pinnate. Each leaf is 3050cm long with 20 to 40 pairs of primary leaflets or pinnae, each divided into 1020 pairs of secondary leaflets or pinnules.

Poinciana v JacarandaJacaranda and poinciana trees both have delicate, fern-like foliage, but the leaves on the poinciana are larger. Both are large trees with spreading canopies that create light dappled shade. Each jacaranda leaf measures 8 to 15 inches long and is bi-pinnate, which means it is composed of major and minor leaflets. It has 13 to 25 pairs of major leaflets arranged alternately along the midrib. Each major leaflet consists of 13 to 25 smaller or minor leaflets. The leaflets are less than 2 inches long and vary from rhomboid, or diamond-shaped, to obovate with the broadest part of the leaflet just above its middle. The leaves are green with lighter green undersides.A poinciana leaf is also bi-pinnate, with 10 to 20 pairs of major leaflets alternately growing along the mid-rib. Each major leaflet is finely divided into 25 to 35 pairs of minor leaflets, which gives it a finer texture than the jacaranda leaves. Each oblong leaflet is less than 2 inches long. The leaf has a green upper surface and a paler green lower surface.

Another distinct difference is that the leaflets of the jacaranda are pointed while those of the poinciana are rounded.

Leaf structure- poinciana

leaf structure- jacaranda

If the life span of the poinciana is 40 years, then at 30 years of age the tree is in decline and more susceptible to diseases, pathogens and most importantly, termites. The older tree is less flexible in a storm and more vulnerable to wind damage.

If the tree is damaged by weed-eaters or mowers, and the cambium layer that transports nutrients from the roots to the tree trunk and branches is injured, the strength of the tree is weakened. The area underneath a poinciana tree is allopathic. That is, nothing will grow there. Its red-orange blooms during season create a carpet underneath to make up for the bare ground, but most of the year there is just dirt.

The depth of the red of the flowers will vary to different degrees, from deep red all the way down to a very flat orange. The depth of colour generally represents the way the tree is living, how well the roots are working, how well the tree is collecting the available nutrients and how well the tree distributes the nutrients around. This adds to the confusion of the varying shades from the flowers.

As you are aware, you need a lot of space in your garden to grow one of these but, if you are lucky enough to have several in your street, they make a beautiful display when flowering and provide generous shade with their spreading canopy.