Caesalpinia mexicana or Mexican bird of paradise are often confused with Caesalpinia pulcherrima or the red bird of paradise. Read on to know more about this tropical plant.
There is a lot of confusion about the Mexican bird of paradise tree. These trees are native to North America (mainly Texas) and Mexico. People often confuse it with the other plants belonging to the same genus of flowering plants, Caesalpinia. The other two plants belonging to this genus are known as Caesalpinia pulcherrima and Caesalpinia gilliesii.
Caesalpinia mexicana has yellow flowers whereas Caesalpinia pulcherrima has red flowers, and so they are called red bird of paradise. Caesalpinia gilliesii also have yellow flowers, but they are not the same as Mexican bird of paradise. These plants have red, long filaments or stamens and the flowers are yellow. They can be grown as shrubs or converted into elegant patio trees which can grow about 15-25 feet tall and spread across 12-18 feet. The tree is categorized under tropical plants as it radiantly blooms in summers, without much water.
These trees are drought tolerant, hence they are planted in parking lots and other tough sites. They are also plantable in households, as they serve as perennial or evergreen hedge shrubs. Because of its drought-tolerant nature, it is easy to grow in well-drained and soil. The best season to plant these beautiful gifts of nature would be spring or summer. You can fetch the seeds from a nursery (not all of them might have them though) or you could buy them on eBay. The seeds need to be placed in a one-inch deep hole and requires daily watering in the initial stage.
Unlike other plants and trees, caring for the Mexican bird of paradise tree does not amount to much work. Having said that, we cannot completely ignore the trees with the beautiful flowers that adorn our garden. The only time these plants require some attention is while planting them. You need to look after the tree till the time it establishes or grounds itself in the soil. But before that, you need to choose the right place for them. This is necessary because these plants require a lot of sunlight; partial shade would not cause any harm, but it is essential that you give them space where they will get enough sunlight. If this is not considered while planting, then no matter how much fertilizer you use, it will resist to bloom. At the planting stage, it requires regular watering and also an occasional sprinkle of fertilizer. These plants do not survive in wintry and frosty conditions; they shed foliage in such weather, leaving the tree looking like a bunch of twigs. During this time, you could either cut the branches off the tree or leave it as it is, as the flowers will sprout back once the weather is frost-free in spring.
As we know that this is a perennial flowering plant, it does not require regular pruning. It is only required in winters, as that is when these plants freeze to grow and shed their leaves. Besides, if you have enough space in your garden, then you do not need to prune it; you could leave it the way it is and allow it to grow and take natural shape.
This is a very simple yet elegant plant to grow. Its pretty yellow flowers not only invite many butterflies and bees, but also bring great joy and smiles to our faces when they glow so radiantly on one of those summer mornings. Why enjoy such a sight in a park or someone else’s garden, when you can grow it yourself, in your own garden?