Caesalpinia: Greenhouse Plants
FF – frost free only / W – warm, minimum of 13°C (55°F)
Tropics and Subtropics
These very showy plants are worth a try, especially as they are quick to germinate and grow. The bipinnate leaves are attractive in themselves and have the habit common in their family of folding the leaflets together at night giving them the appearance of having gone to sleep. Caesalpinia gilliesii, the Bird of Paradise Flower from Argentina, will flower while quite small, producing yellow petals and lots of showy scarlet stameus. This species is almost hardy and will grow happily in frost free conditions. C. pulcherrima is a prickly shrub from the tropics known as Barbados Pride. This will need warm house conditions and will bear orange-yellow petals with long red stamens hanging from them when still only 60 cm (2 ft) tall. I would say that fresh seed is idiot proof. I sowed a pot full that I collected myself. Burying the large seed just under the surface of the, I watered them in and placed the pot with cling film over it into the airing cupboard at about 21°C (70°F). Four days later the huge had pushed the cling film off and were looking for light. Providing they are not overwatered in winter the plants are very easy to grow.