Caesalpinia pulcherrima

Pride of Barbados is an evergreen shrub or small tree in frost free climates, a deciduous shrub in zone 9 (Rio Grande Valley), a returning perennial in zone 8 (South central Texas–San Antonio), and an annual in North and West Texas. Pride–of–Barbados dies to the ground following frost or freezing temperatures, but in zone 8b (South central Texas) it comes back reliably in middle spring. They have survived temperatures as low as 18°F. The plant is usually tall, growing large even after freezing to the ground the previous winter. The leaves are fernlike. Pride–of–Barbados has incredibly showy blossoms of orange and red. The individual flowers are bowl shaped, 2–3 inches across, with five crinkled, unequal red and orange petals, and ten prominent bright red stamens. Individual flowers are borne in large terminal panicles from mid to late summer (depending on size of transplant used) and fall. It is a fast growing plant especially when the temperatures are hot and in full sun to partial shade (it blooms best in full sun). It is moderately tolerant of salty conditions and is extremely drought tolerant. The striking orange red flowers are an attention grabber!

Exposure: Full sun

Size: Height – 8 to 12 feet

Plant Type: Summer annual, perennial, or woody shrub depending upon the severity of winter temperatures

Planting time: Spring to early summer

Soil type: This plant is very easy to grow in alkaline to acidic, well-drained soils

Suggested uses: Use Pride–of–Barbados as a specimen or in a mixed shrub border

Special notes: Plants tolerate very high temperatures and drought, but do not tolerate poorly drained soils; Pride–of–Barbados is best grown in raised beds in humid climates

For further information: The Pride–Of–Barbados Becomes The Pride–Of–Texas!