Common name: Yellow Bird of Paradise, Desert Bird of Paradise
Botanical name: Caesalpinia gilliesii
Size: 4 – 8 foot tall by 3 – 5 foot wide
Bloom time: May to September
Leaves: long bluish-green, fine fern-like texture
A hardy perennial from Argentina, the Yellow Bird of Paradise has naturalized in Texas. The plant offers exotic blooms of long — 5 to 7 inch — yellow petals accented by longer protruding bright red stamens. The blooms take up to 4 hours to open and begin in the afternoon. Once open, that flower only lasts for one day.
In northern Texas, it will die to the ground at the first freeze but will come back in spring. Because of this, Yellow Bird of Paradise is grown as a bush. It is both drought and heat tolerant. Its numerous blooms attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
Pest or Disease Problems: None
Growing in North Texas:
Plant in full sun with good drainage as it needs a drier environment than a wet one. It does well in most all soils, even rock, but hates heavy clay where it can get water logged. If on an irrigation system, allow the soil to dry out before giving it a deep watering.
Bird of Paradise is part of the legume family of plants so it has the ability to fix its own nitrogen from the air. Supplemental fertilization should be limited to a yearly application in early spring.
Propagation is easy from seeds when sowed directly outdoors in the fall or after the last spring frost.
Note: Seed pods and seeds are poisonous. Its unpleasant odor makes it deer resistant. Bird of Paradise can be considered aggressive if not deadheaded because the seeds take root.
Texas AgriLife Extension Service
Natives of Texas, Bird of Paradise
Keywords (tags): full sun, drought tolerant, heat tolerant, yellow