Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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Not native to Florida
This tree is native only to Madagascar's dry deciduous forests and has been introduces as an ornamental in tropical and sub-tropical locations around the world. It can now be found in the Florida keys and in Florida landscapes at least as far north as the central peninsula. It is also introduced in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Navassa and the Virgin Islands.
Related to tamarind and mimosa, royal poinciana grows to 15m (40 ft.) tall. The mimosa-like leaves are double pinnate, deciduous and 30-50 cm long. The leaves have 20-40 pairs of pinnae, each divided into 10-20 pairs of pinnules. The large flowers have four spreading spatulate-shaped petals and an upright standard. The petals are up to 8 cm (3-1/8 in.) long and typically scarlet or reddish orange. The standard is often larger and spotted with yellow and white.