Delonix regia

Accession Count: 0
Common Name: Royal Poinciana
Family Name: Fabaceae
Botanical Name: Delonix regia
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Variety:
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Cultivar:
Characteristics:
Compound: Del reg
Geographic Origin: American Tropics, Madagascar
Ecozone Origin: Neotropic
Biome Origin:
Natural History: The origin of the Royal Poinciana was unknown to science until the 1930’s (4) until it was rediscovered growing wild in Madagascar (5). Today, it is widely cultivated in the tropic and subtropical regions of the world (5). It can also be found in the north and west of the Bemaraha massif, as well as in the dry forest around Antsiranana and as far south as Daraina (4). It has become naturalized in parts of southern Florida in the United States, and is invasive in parts of Australia, where it competes with the native vegetation (4).  There is not much known about the breeding system of the Royal Poinciana, but there has been some self-incompatibility recorded and is thought to be pollinated by sunbirds (4).
Cultivation Notes: Royal Poincianas are fast growing trees when they are young. They are able to grow up to 5 feet of height per year (7).  When the Royal Poinciana tree matures, it develops broad umbrella-shaped crowns, and is often planted because of its shade-giving properties (5). The Royal Poinciana is most commonly known for be propagated for seeds (2). The seeds are collected, soaked in warm water for at least 24 hours, and planted in warm, moist soil in a semi-shaded, sheltered position (2).  The seeds may also be scarified (with a small scissors or nail clipper) and planted immediately (2).  These methods permit the moisture to enter its tough outer casing and stimulate germination (2). Because this plant is a legume, the tree has nitrogen-fixating and soil-improving properties (2). It can grow in a wide range of habitats, including disturbed sites (5). It can also grow in full sun and can tolerate sandy, loamy, clay, and acidic or alkaline soils (5).
Ethnobotany:
The Royal Poinciana is usually grown as an ornamental tree and is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful planted tropical trees in the world.  It is often planted in streets and parks (4). This tree is fast growing and develops an umbrella-shaped crown, making it a valuable as a shade tree (4).  The wood itself is not of much value, but has been used for making fence posts, because of its resistance to water and its durability (4). The seeds are sometimes used as beads.  Research shows gum made from the dried seeds. It is used as a binder in the manufacturing of tables such as the paracetamol (4).  Tropical and subtropical locations, such as the small island of Anguilla, use the Royal Poinciana on postage stamps (4).
Its plant extract has been reported to possess anti-bacterial, anti-malarial and anti-fungal properties (6). Folk medicinal practitioners in Bangladesh use the leaves for controlling sugar level in diabetic patients (6).  This plant may possess some anti-diabetic activities (6). When tested on mice, the maximum anti-hyperglycemic activity was showed at 400 mg/kg, which was comparable to that of a standard drug, glibenclamide (10 mg/kg). The methanolic extract of leaf of Delonix regia had beneficial effects in reducing the elevated blood glucose level of hyperglycemic mice (6). 


Height: 20 - 50 feet
Width: 50 - 100 feet
Growth Rate: Fast Growing
Grow Season: ForeSummer
Flower Season: Summer
Color: Red
Function: Accent
Spread: Spreading
Allergen: Non-allergenic
Invasive: Benign
Toxicity: Benign
Hardy: Semi-hardy
Water Use: Moderate Water Use
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Delonix regia