Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii)

Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) (45322 bytes) Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) is a a native of Argentina and Uruguay that is now wide spread in North America. It is an upright, exotic-appearing deciduous shrub that is fast-growing to a height and width of 6 to10 feet. An open shrub with sparse foliage, the Bird of Paradise can be grown alone or planted 6 to 9 feet apart to form a hedge. It can be pruned during winter, when dormant, for shaping and to promote denser growth. Going dormant in colder weather, this shrub is hardy to 5F and seems to tolerate frosts well where it is grown in the Denver Botanic Gardens. Drought resistant, very heat tolerant and with low water needs, this plant is a good addition to the xeric garden. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil, and has a high tolerance for saline and alkaline soils.
  
Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) foliage (13985 bytes) Foliage is bipinnate, 3-5in long, and has a finely cut fern-like appearance.
Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) flower (16234 bytes) Blooms are showy, exotic racines of yellow pea-like flowers with long red to hot-pink stamens. They are 4 to 5 inches long.   Attractive to hummingbirds, flowers occur on branch terminals during spring and summer.
Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) stems (5458 bytes) Stems are green with noticeable lenticils.
Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) seedpods (8455 bytes)     Seed Pods are tanish-brown and curled. They persist into winter and are considered poisonous.

Photos: Judy Sedbrook

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010