Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Rural Gardens & Bird of Paradise Bush (Caesalpinia gilliesii)

On the last few days of my visit to San Diego County and traveling on my way here or there, I stumble across a few locations which had beautiful informal rural garden settings especially along the roadsides. One location is on Hwy 67 east of downtown Ramona and the other location is along Hwy 76 in Pauma Valley just west of the Casino drive entrance. The plant in question here is Bird of Paradise Bush (Caesalpinia gilliesii) which I previously wrote about  along with it's other Mexican Bird of Paradise relative which carries the bright orange/yellow/red flowers (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) Here . Now while I was out and about purposely on other missions with my photography, I just could resist stopping and taking these beautiful country rural pics.

Photo Mine

This is along Hwy 76 in Pauma Valley just down the road west of the Pauma Casino and heading towards the Pala Reservation Casino. I believe this is on the property of the old Pauma General Store which would be to the right in the photograph. Lots of traffic and the pic was hard to get with masses of automobiles traveling in both directions. where in the world do people in this lousy economy get money to blow like that ? Anyways, here is the roadside informal hedge of  the (Caesalpinia gilliesii)

Photo: Mine

This is taken from the west bound lane of
Hwy 67 before coming into Ramona. It was 
just one too many times that I passed here
 back and forth on missions east and north
 that I then just had to stop and photograph 
this wonderful South American native. Just
about the only water it receives is from the 
poor annual rainfalls of late.

Photo: Mine

Here is the frontal view of the roadside plants on a picture post card property most will recognize when passing the old Hi-Way Market on Hwy 67 on way to Santa Ysabel or Julian. Very tough little shrub and good selection for dry hot areas. also I like the way it doesn't become an invasive and take over the wild, although I have seen it naturalize by reseeding.

Photo image: Mauro Guanandi

São Paulo Brazil neighbourhood

Caesalpinia mexicana

Top Tropicals

'Rosae Pink'
Like Columbines and other flowers with great cross breeding variety, these shrubs above have similar varietal possibilities.  So I thought it would also be kool to share a few of these. Most of the folks in the desert cities southwest are only familiar with the bright red-orange with yellow splash which was introduced probably back in the 1980s, maybe Arizona. Well, at least that's where I first saw these plants when traveling Arizona and how the Arizona Highway department was utilizing them along Freeway landscaping on and off ramp exits. 


Caesalpinia pulcherrima Guadeloupe
However sometimes they can be over used and over whelm an area. This Caesalpinia pulcherrima Guadeloupe is a much more red coloured variety and most of these other variations in colour, I've known about, but have never really seen them in the landscapes around the Southwest. I'm sure someone else creative will one day find just the right hardscape and landscape theme to insert them into. But the rather large selection reminds me also of other flowering plants with  multi-colour selections like for example Tropic Cannas.


Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Guyanese flower

There is just so many kool varieties of things and it's simply a matter of being in the right place and at the right time for discovery and perhaps collecting the seed or cloning from cuttings. I'm glad there are folks out there with the patience for doing such things with a species of plant with which they specialize. Again, I just don't have that type of patience. I sure wish I did though. This world has everyone keyed up and anxious. Stress is everywhere, but the garden is certainly a way of escape. At least that's always the way it was for me. And I suppose still is. Outdoors and discovery though are even better. Still, maybe some have seen some things here they never knew existed as far as availability. 

Royal Poincianna Tree

University of Florida 'Royal Poincianna'
Of course there is one final variety, though it's is an entirely different species and rather large tree of the tropics. It's that picturesque tree often visualized in some romantic colonial era setting of some British or French colony in the Caribbean Islands. 'Poincianna Royal'. The interesting thing about this tree is that it hates the cold. I remember when I first read about this tree while researching Caesalpinia pulcherrina and the name Royal Poincianna came up. By cold, I'm not talking about some frosty mornings, but it hates temps getting down to 45 degrees (7.2 Celsius). This tree and I have something in common.

'Royal Poincianna Tree' in an island colonial setting

Wikipedia: Delonix regia


  1. I have the yellow-flowered one and believe me, those things come up ALL OVER the yard! I have to weed them out... They are great growers here in the desert.
    ~~Cheryl Ann~~

    1. LOL, I can imagine. Well, they are from South America after all.

  2. Being a midwesterner, I'm not familiar with Caesalpinias - very nice shrub.

    The Poincianna tree is absolutely gorgeous. 45 degrees here is downright balmy-feeling sometimes after a long midwestern winter! ;)

    1. I love almost everything about them. Although you can use too many. They are great for inserting into areas of the landscape as an attraction or location that needs colour


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