pride-of-Barbados Fabaceae Caesalpinia
pulcherrima (L.) Sw.
Leaf: Alternate, evergreen but may be deciduous in "cooler" climates, feathery bipinnately compound, 8 to 10 inches long, leaflets oval and 3/4 inch long, light green above and below, turning red over winter.
Flower: Very showy upright terminal panicles of orange-red-yellow flowers with very long red stamens, panicles to 12 inches, individual flowers 2 or more inches wide with 5 wrinkled petals, flowers opening from the bottom of the panicle up, year-round in the tropics, late summer elsewhere.
Fruit: A flattened bean-like pod, maturing to a dry brown, 4 inches long and 3/4 to 1 inch wide, popping open at maturity and ejecting the seeds.
Twig: Slender, purplish-red with white glaucous bloom and sharp hooked prickles, leaf scars raised and nearly round.
Bark: Young bark remaining purple-red and retaining prickles for a long time; mature bark turns gray-brown, becoming smoother but may retain prickles.
Form: A shrub to 10 feet or occasionally a small tree to 20 feet, usually multi-stemmed and widely spreading.