Plants that Confuse me

I decided to make some posts about plants that confuse me so that way I can look back at the posts when I get confused again. Today it’s the plants known locally as bird of paradise or pride of barbados. There are three types that I have seen in Austin nurseries and landscapes. Caesalpinia pulcherrima Is the orange red one that most people call pride of barbados. It freezes to the ground every winter. I cut them down to about 6” to leave some stems sticking up out of the ground in the winter. They grow back in late April or May and bloom all summer. You can grow them from seed if you can’t find them at the nursery. The nurseries often don’t sell them until May when they start blooming.

Then there’s Caesalpinia gilliesii which is known as Yellow Bird of Paradise or Argentine Bird of Paradise. This one has yellow flowers with pink stamens. It grows more like a tiny tree with just one or two trunks. Usually they loose their leaves in the winter but the stems stay alive. I’ve never grown this one myself but my friend Ruth has one and she never cuts it down. Also can be grown from seed.

Caesalpinia mexicana has pure yellow flowers. It’s kind of like a mix between the other two where it has the shape and size of the pulcherrima but yellow flowers. Looks like it is also called Mexican Holdback. Around here I’ve heard it called Mexican Bird of Paradise. I have very limited experience with this one .

It looks like these plants’ botanical names might have been changed recently but now I have lost interest.