see it


Caesalpinia mexicana     
Mexican bird of paradise   
Fabaceae Family     

Compiled by the Master Gardeners
of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension.


Form: rounded shrub or multistemmed tree in warm, protected location
Seasonality: evergreen
compound leaves
rounded leaflets on
Caesalpinia mexicana
Size: 10-15ft, spread usual 1/2 to 1/3 height
Leaves: alternate, bipinnate, round leaflets
Flowers: spikes of solid yellow clusters on branch terminals; flowers up to 6in long; bloom early spring through summer
Fruit: flat tan or yellow pod, 2-3in long ; splits to release hard small lima bean-shaped seed; seeds are poisonous
Stems/Trunks: spineless
Range/Origin: Mexico
Hardiness: to mid-teens, damaged below that but recovers quickly


yellow flowers
blooms (young cluster)
  • Propagation: seed, requires scarification
  • Maintenance: moderate to high; pod cleanup, pruning of cold damage, training to form if desired


    leaflets more round than other Caesalpina sp.

    Mexican bird of paradise
    Caesalpinia mexicana trained to small tree form;
    flowering period just beginning

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    This page was first created August 24, 2001 and last modified March 16, 2006.

    Web page design and photographs by Toni Moore, Master Gardener
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