Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Caesalpinia mexicana

Caesalpinia mexicana is a beautiful evergreen, everblooming tree for sub-tropical gardens. The yellow flowers appear in masses to virtually cover the tree in early spring and then continue to appear on new growth throughout the rest of the year. The flowers have a very sweet fragrance if you stick your nose right into the blossom.
When flowers are pollinated, a small pod will form. On hot summer days, the mature pods split open with a loud snap, ejecting the seeds.
The leaves are bipinnately compound and 6-8 inches in length, giving the foliage a soft appearance.
The branches often grow in an attractive twisted manner.
Caesalpinia mexicana is cold-hardy to the mid-teens and very drought-tolerant. It is native to Mexico and will grow to about 25 foot tall.  It can also be kept trimmed into a large shrub form, if desired.
Hummingbirds are supposed to be attracted to the flowers.

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