What is the desert bush with Red, Yellow and Orange Flowers? This common Arizona and Texas desert shrub is called the Red Bird of Paradise.
The botanical name for Red Bird of Paradise is Caesalpinia pulcherrima, it is a species in the FABACEAE Family, more commonly known as the pea, bean or legume family.
This is one of the easiest desert flowering plants to grow and take care of in the Phoenix, Tucson area; along with Texas and California. It is deciduous (loses its leaves seasonally), but will bloom constantly through the summer.
The Red Bird of Paradise makes a favorable hedge. The orange and yellow flowers are one of the best plants to attract butterflies & hummingbirds!
The Red Bird of Paradise plant is also the NATIONAL flower of the Caribbean island of Barbados, which is why you may hear it called Pride of Barbados. Please note: when purchasing this plant I have seen it labeled as “Pride of Barbados”.
This desert beauty is very hardy and drought resistant once it’s established; they can have a very long tap-root. With a little mulch at the base, your desert bird of paradise will come back year after year.
The leaves are delicate lacy, fern-looking. You may see this desert plant’s leaves fold up at night, no worries; it is called Nyctinasty and is completely natural. Bird of Paradise are fairly fast growers, and can get LARGE, so periodic trimming is suggested. The better water drainage you have the healthier this flowering plant will be.
Some people refer to this orange and yellow desert bush as the Mexican Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia mexicana). The actual Mexican Bird of Paradise has only yellow flowers and rounded leaves. For more Mexican Bird of Paradise info
Check out our article link: If you are interested in growing your own Bird of Paradise plants from the bean pods.
Pictured above is one of our young plants we are watering often until their tap-root is well established.
Here are some landscaping ideas to add colors to your garden area.
TIDBITS: The Amazon Rainforest Medicine men had some medicinal uses for Red Bird of Paradise, Caesalpinia pulcherrima. Four grams from the root was used to induce abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy. The bean pods and seeds of the Bird of Paradise plant are toxic / poisonous and will cause abdominal symptoms and vomiting.