Caesalpinia pulcherrima
red bird of paradise

Fabaceae (pea family)
Tropics & subtropics of the Americas

A small tropical tree, also called dwarf poinciana, with characteristic bipinnate foliage, growing near the Art Gallery at the north entrance to Cummings Art Building. This tree has died to the ground for the last two winters. Last spring it resprouted, grew to 5 ft or so and produced beautiful red blooms in summer. We hope and expect it will do the same this year. It was observed to be cut off at ground level May 2005.

Name derivation: Caesalpinia – after Andrea Cesalpino (1519–1603), Italian botanist; pulcherrima – very pretty.

About this Entry: John Rawlings authored/updated the main text of this entry ca. 2005–2012.