Plant of the Month: September 2013


Red Bird of Paradise

Caesalpinia pulcherrima

A true showstopper when in bloom, Red Bird of Paradise stands up to heat and attracts orioles, hummingbirds, and butterflies.

A true show-stopper when in bloom, Red Bird of Paradise stands up to heat while attracting orioles, hummingbirds, and butterflies.


  • Plant Form: Deciduous Shrub
  • Water Use: Low – Moderate
  • Mature Size: 5-8’ tall and wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: June  – November
  • Native to: West Indies
  • Hardiness: Cold Hardy to 18°F


Red Bird of Paradise is a show-stopper when in full bloom from early summer to fall. Brilliant orange-red and yellow ruffled flowers contrast strikingly with the deep green, fern-like foliage of this subtropical beauty. Prized for its incredible heat tolerance, and its spectacular bloom in both desert and tropical plant palettes. While it accepts almost any soil, full sun is a must for this luxurious-looking plant. Tolerates drought, but flowers best if given deep watering every two weeks in summer. Because its foliage and stems freeze at about 28 degrees, stems should be cut back nearly to ground level after winter dormancy, just before its surge of new spring growth (you’d never guess it froze back with its fast growth in spring). Attracts orioles, hummingbirds, butterflies…and people!