Poinciana in flower

red flowering tree
Poinciana in full flower, with monsoonal skies in the background

Poincianas are not native trees but they are so much a part of Townsville’s ambiance that it’s hard to imagine the town without them. They were widely planted both in gardens and as street trees until the fashion swung towards native species, and there are still lots around. Our own street is a product of the post-war building boom so the trees on the footpath are baby-boomers too; the one above, a couple of doors down from us, is one of the best.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that some of our deciduous tropical trees seem to flower better if they are not over-watered and here’s an example: the poinciana above isn’t watered as often as our own (below) and has produced more flowers and far less foliage.

feathery foliage and red flowers
Poinciana foliage and flowers

Wikipedia’s article about the poinciana, Delonix regia, will tell you almost everything you’re likely to want to know about it, but the ABC’s Gardening Australia programme has a more local perspective.

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