Species: D. regia
Common Names: Krishnachura, Gulmohar, Peacock Flower, Flame of the Forest, Malinche, and Tabachine, and one of several named the Flame tree. The species was previously placed in a genus Poinciana, named for Phillipe de Longviliers de Poincy who is credited with introducing the plant to the Americas.
Amharic(dire dawa zaf); Arabic(goldmore); Bengali(chura,radha); Burmese(seinban); Creole(poinciana royal); English(flamboyant,flamboyant flame tree,flame of the forest,flame tree,gold mohur,gul mohr,julu tree,peacock flower,royal poinciana); French(flamboyant,poinciana,royal); German(fammenßaum,Feuerbaum); Hindi(gulmohr,kattikayi,peddaturyl,shima sunkesula); Spanish(Acacia roja,clavellino,flamboyán,flor de pavo,framboyán,guacamaya,josefina,Morazán,poinciana); Swahili(mjohoro,mkakaya); Tamil(mayarum,mayirkonrai,panjadi,telugu); Thai(hang nok yung farang); Trade name(gold mohar); Vietnamese(phuong); Yoruba(sekeseke)
Synonyms: Poinciana regia Boj. ex Hook.
Habitat : The Royal Poinciana is endemic to Madagascar, where it is found in the West Malagasy forest. In the wild it is endangered, but it is widely cultivated elsewhere. In addition to its ornamental value, it is also a useful shade tree in tropical conditions, because it usually grows to a modest height (typically around 5 m, though it can reach as high as 12 m) but spreads widely, and its dense foliage provides full shade.
The Royal Poinciana is regarded as naturalised in many of the locations where it is grown, and is seen by some as an invasive species in some parts of Australia, partly because its dense shade and root system prevent the growth of other species under it. It is also found in India, where it is referred to as the Gulmohar. In West Bengal (India) and Bangladesh,
mainly in garden and roadside as avenue tree for its graceful foliage and beautiful flowers. it is called Krishnachura.
The seed pods of the Royal Poincianas are used in the Caribbean as a percussion instrument known as the shak-shak or maraca.
The Royal Poinciana requires a tropical or near-tropical climate, but can tolerate drought and salty conditions. It is very widely grown in the Caribbean, Hong Kong, the Canary Islands, Taiwan and southern China, and is also the city tree of Tainan, Taiwan and Xiamen, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China. National Cheng Kung University, a university located in Tainan, put Royal Poinciana on its emblem.
In the United States and United States Commonwealth, it grows only in South Florida, Southwest Florida, the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, ranging from the low deserts of Southern Arizona (to as high as Tucson), Southern California, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, where it is the official tree of the islands. It is much adored in the Caribbean; for example, many Puerto Rican paintings feature Flamboyant Trees. The Poinciana is also the national flower of St. Kitts and Nevis. Also Phillipe de Longviliers de Poincy was the first Lieutenant Governor of St. Kitts.
The Royal Poinciana is regarded as naturalised in many of the locations where it is grown, and is seen by some as an invasive species in some parts of Australia, partly because its dense shade and root system prevent the growth of other species under it. It is also found in India, where it is referred to as the Gulmohar. In West Bengal (India) and Bangladesh it is called Krishnachura.
It is a midium size tree with spreading dome-shaped crown. Leaves are bipinnate and leaflets are small and many. Flowering time is April to June. Flowers are red, showy in terminal corymbs. Fruiting occurs between August and October. Pods are 30-61 cm long, fleshy and become black when dry. The tree’s vivid red/vermilion/orange/yellow flowers and bright green foliage make it an exceptionally striking sight. In areas with a marked dry season, it sheds its leaves during the drought, but in other areas it is virtually evergreen.
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The flowers are large, with four spreading scarlet or orange-red petals up to 8 cm long, and a fifth upright petal called the standard, which is slightly larger and spotted with yellow and white. The naturally occurring variety flavida has yellow flowers. Seed pods are dark brown and can be up to 60 cm long and 5 cm wide; the individual seeds, however, are small, weighing around 0.4 g on average. The compound leaves have a feathery appearance and are a characteristic light, bright green. They are doubly pinnate: Each leaf is 30-50 cm long and has 20 to 40 pairs of primary leaflets or pinnae on it, and each of these is further divided into 10-20 pairs of secondary leaflets or pinnules.
Fruit green and flaccid when young, turning to dark brown, hard, woody pods, 30-75 cm long, 3.8 cm thick, 5-7.6 cm broad, ending in a short beak when mature, with many horizontally partitioned seed chambers inside, indehiscent, finally splitting into 2 parts. The conspicuous pods hang down and remain attached most of the year even when the trees are leafless. Seeds 30-45, hard, greyish, glossy, to 2 cm long, oblong and shaped very much like date seeds, transversely mottled with a bony testa. They are arranged at right angles to the length of the pod.
South Florida: June
Northern Mariana Islands: March-June
United Arab Emirates: April-June
Agri-horticulture, Medicines, Phytochemistry, Products
Apiculture: Flowers are reputed to produce bee forage. Fuel: The large pods as well as the wood are used for fuel. Timber: The sapwood is light yellow, and the heartwood is yellowish to light brown. It is soft, heavy (specific gravity 0.8), coarse grained, weak, brittle, takes good polish and is rather resistant to moisture and insects although very susceptible to attack by dry-wood termites. Gum or resin: The tree yields a thick mucilage of water-soluble of gum in yellowish or reddish-brown warty tears; the seeds contain gum that may find use in textile and food industries.
Medicine: Bark has medicinal properties. The traditional healers use the leaves of Peltophorum in form of decoction, to wash the unhealthy skin. It is commonly used in treatment of skin troubles. The healers use its fresh leaves also for this purpose. It is frequently used in treatment of ringworm. The traditional healers use this herb as major ingredient in popular herbal combinations used internally in treatment of constipation. The healers of Southern Chhattisgarh in India, use the leaf decoction in treatment of stomatitis. The patients are advised to gargle with this decoction. Its bark is also used for this purpose. The healers of Chhattisgarh Plains use its flower in treatment of insomnia. The aqueous extract of fresh flowers is massaged on soles before going to sleep. According to the healers, it induces good sleep. This is really surprising that the information on its medicinal uses and properties have not been mentioned in reference literatures related to different systems of medicine in India. As it is introduced herb, possibly due to this reason the ancient researchers have not studied and included this herb in literatures.
The timber is hard and fair. The heartwood is used for rough posts, supports for flooring and for bridges as it is said to be very durable. General construction and furniture works are also done with the timber.
Shade or shelter: D. regia is planted as a shade tree in dairy farms, tea plantations and compounds. Ornamental: It is mainly valued as a decorative tree, often being planted in avenues and gardens. Boundary or barrier or support: D. regia can be planted as live fence posts.
Often grown as an ornamental tree and given the name Royal Poinciana or Flamboyant,
The tree’s vivid red/vermilion/orange/yellow flowers and bright green foliage make it an exceptionally striking sight.
Other products: The hard, elongated seeds are occasionally used as beads.
Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
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