Many have asked – Is the Red Bird of Paradise plant toxic?
All 3 of the bird of paradise flowering bushes are poisonous.
The orange and yellow flowers of the Caesalpinia pulcherrima, make a stunning bush.
The true Mexican Bird of Paradise tree has yellow flowers and round leaves.
The Yellow Bird of paradise plant has clusters of yellowflowers with a long red stamen.
All of these beautiful desert bushes belong to the genus Caesalpinia. But DO NOT eat any part of the 3 Bird of Paradise plants.
Caesalpinia is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family, FABACEAE. The fruit of these Bird of Paradise desert bushes is a long, flat seed pod.
The seed pods are toxic! Watch small children and pets around these shrubs.
The level of toxicity for the bird of paradise plants is low. The leaves contain hydrocyanic acid. The toxins in the bean pods are tannins. The role of tannins in many species of plants is to protect it from predators.
Ingesting any part of bird of paradise plants can cause gastrointestinal irritation. Nausea, diarrhea and vomiting are symptoms of bird of paradise poisoning.
While the Red, Yellow and Mexican Bird of Paradise’s toxins are not life-threatening; keep in mind that diarrhea and vomiting can produce dehydration. These symptoms should be taken seriously and you should seek medical treatment.
The flowers on the Red, Yellow and Mexican Bird of Paradise bushes are thriving in the sweltering heat. Vivid energetic colors of this drought tolerant shrub are sure to catch the eye of any passer-by.
This is one of our favorite desert shrubs we recommend to people who want flowering plants that are perennial (you need to plant them only once), hardy, low care, and drought resistant.
With an abundance of fern-like leaves these delightful shrubs can add a tropical perspective to any desert landscape!
Pruning your Red Bird of Paradise, Caesalpinia pulcherrima , should be in late winter or early spring. Use a sharp pair of garden shears. Our Bird of Paradise bushes are pruned about 16 inches from ground level.
Caesalpinia gilliesii, Yellow Bird of Paradise or sometimes called “Desert Bird of Paradise” is a shrub that has been naturalized in Texas.
The signature long red stamens adorn the clusters of charming yellow flowers. Originally from Argentina, this Yellow Bird of Paradise upright shrub is very fast growing.
This long-lived, drought tolerant plant is very durable along with cold and heat tolerant. Exposure to full sun is best! All parts of the bird of paradise plants are toxic. Yellow Bird of Paradise can grow to the height of 10 ft.
Plant your Bird of Paradise in full sun locations. These bushes do fine in any well-drained soil including rocky, native soils.
In the Spring, prune to remove dead or damaged stems. In the summer water your Yellow Bird of Paradise every week. Water it deeply to stimulate a long taproot. Once established the Yellow Bird of Paradise will need less water.
These desert favorites are easy to find, inexpensive, and provide exciting color over and over throughout the year. All Bird of Paradise plants are winners for your Arizona or desert landscape!
The Red Bird of Paradise is a fast grower, and will get large! It is hardy and does well in any soil; but, the better drainage you have the healthier the plant will be.
Bird of Paradise plants look bare during the winter but they always come back strong and healthy! The seeds and bean pods are poisonous so be careful your children and pets don’t eat them.
Red Bird of Paradise is very hardy and drought tolerant once the taproot is established. With a little mulch at the base, they come back year after year.
Many people refer to this red and orange desert bush as the Mexican Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia mexicana). The actual Mexican Bird of Paradise has all yellow flowersand is larger.
Being native to Mexico, Caesalpinia Mexicana is the real Mexican Bird of Paradise. It is larger with ROUND leaves and can be pruned into a small tree.
Using bean pods to grow your bird of paradise plants is uncomplicated and well worth the effort.
Caesalpinia pulcherrima, Red Bird of Paradise, is a species of flowering plant in the Fabaceae, pea family.
Other common names are Poinciana, Peacock Flower, Mexican Bird of Paradise, Dwarf Poinciana, Pride of Barbados, and flamboyan-de-jardin.
This is especially true for the Red Bird of Paradise bushes, genus Caesalpina, along the roads in Tucson and Phoenix, also common in TX, Mexico and CA.
This drought tolerant plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds.
Are the Bird of Paradise Bean Pods edible? NO, all Bird of Paradise plants and bushes are poisonous if ingested.
Bean Pods on the Bird of Paradise bushes and shrubs need toturn brown before you can germinate the seeds. The green bean pods pictured above and below are too young and need more time to dry on the desert plant.
Red Bird of Paradise, Caesalpinia pulcherrima, is native to the tropics and subtropics of the Americas and is also the NATIONAL flower of the Caribbean island of Barbados, which is why you may hear it called Pride of Barbados.
PLANT AND GROW – How to grow bird of paradise plants, bushes, shrubs from seeds.
To germinate the seeds of your bird of paradise perennial plant first step is to score the hard outer coating. I use sandpaper to lightly scrape the seeds then soak them in warm water for 24-48 hours. They will germinate quickly like most seeds in the bean, Legumefamily, do.
To grow your Red Bird of Paradise, plant the soaked seed in peat pots. Cover the seeds lightly with damp vermiculite or a good soil.
You should have bird of paradise seedlings in a few days to a week depending on how hard the outer coat of the seeds are.
Bird of Paradise seeds need at least 8 hours of sun, but not direct sun it will be too hot! You can start to give them a little more direct sun after the first leaves appear.
Peat Pots are great and make growing and transplanting your Mexican, Yellow or Red Bird of Paradise seedlings much easier.
Start your seeds indoors and when you are ready to plant your Bird of Paradise just put the entire pot in the ground. Roots will penetrate the peat pot and the pot disintegrates enriching the soil.
The Red Bird of Paradise is a deciduous (loses its leaves) shrub that thrives in full sun and has brightred and orange flowers that grow on long, thin stalks. The leaves are lacy, ferny-looking.
This is an extraordinarily heat resistant, drought tolerant flowering bush that is a perfect addition to any yard. The Red Bird of Paradise is a fairly fast grower, and can get large, so periodic trimming is suggested. See the photo above of large flowering bushes commonly seen along the streets in Tucson and Phoenix Arizona along with Texas and California.