Thursday’s Feature – Caesalpinia gilliesii

Thursday is when Cosmos and Cleome asks us to highlight a plant that is at its peak, or a view that is special today.

Last week I chose Acca sellowiana (Fejoa) and today I’ve chosen another plant that comes from South America, this is a quite odd as I don’t have many plants from that region of the world.

Caesalpinia gilliesii or crimson threadflower  is commonly known as the “bird of paradise tree” but it is no relation to Strelitzia.

It’s range is NW Argentina and Uruguay.  It is a large evergreen shrub or small tree, with 2-pinnate leaves composed of tiny oblong leaflets, and showy yellow flowers 3cm across, with long crimson stamens.  It is a slow growing shrub or small tree with an ultimate height of 2.5 to 5 metres; mine is just over 2 metres high and was given to me as a small sapling found under the tree of a friend.

Caesalpinia gilliesii

Caesalpinia gilliesii

Apart from the amazing flowers, it is not a very attractive tree and the lower branches often die back in a hot summer or cold winter; I also think it might prefer a moister soil than I am able to provide for it.

Caesalpinia gilliesii

Caesalpinia gilliesii

But for a few weeks it has these amazing flowers with bright crimson stamens that are disproportionately long, providing the tree with its common name.

Caesalpinia gilliesii

Caesalpinia gilliesii

Caesalpinia gilliesii doesn’t pass my foliage test as the pinnate leaves are rather uninteresting and often look a bit crisp by mid-summer.  I enjoy the tree purely because it is something that would have been impossible for me to grow in my English garden so it has an exotic novelty value.

What is the feature in your garden today, I’m sure Kimberly would love you to join her.



19 thoughts on “Thursday’s Feature – Caesalpinia gilliesii

  1. Christina las flores son impresionables, exuberantes, bellas. Es un toque diferente y peculiar en su maravilloso jardín. El árbol me gusta. Lo que ocurre es que no se puede comparar con las flores. Si vemos es árbol solo es bonito. Muchas gracias por enseñarnos esta joya. Saludos de Margarita.

  2. I’ve been thinking of adding a Caesalpinia to my own garden as it appears the flowers can hold up to the summer heat. However, I’ll have to take a close look at the foliage first based on your comment.

  3. I’ve always wanted to try growing one of these and actually sowed some seed a few years ago. I don’t remember exactly what happened but it was in any case a failed attempt! I love the flowers, but can see that the growth is rather untidy. Very interesting to see pictures of yours Christina.

  4. It is a lovely plant, how wonderful to be able to grow it. I have collected seed on my travels and tried to grow this several times but it will never flower in captivity and it would not survive outside here. Yours is a real beauty.

  5. Christina una joya de árbol. La flor es divina, preciosa, maravillosa. El árbol es bonito si no vemos la floración tan magnífica que tiene. Las hojas del árbol son pinaceas , me gustan. Saludos de Margarita.

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