Bauhinia monandra, "Dwarf African Orchid Tree ," grows only to 10 feet and blooms year long. If you haven't room for the sprawling large Hong Kong Orchid, enjoy its exotic flowers in compact dwarf form.
"Mexican Caesalpinia, or Dwarf Poinciana is a small tree maturing at 15'-20' in height and 15' wide.This small tree grows at a moderate rate, up to 2-3 feet in a year.
The lacy appearing pinnately compound leaf consists of 3-4 pairs of opposite leaflets branching from the main stem.
Flowers occur at the branch tips. The bloom spikes average 5-6 inches in length and flowers first open from the bottom of the spike. Blooms are ¾ inch across and are bright yellow in color. The flag petal has orange markings that vary with the different sub-species. Flowering occurs all year and the tree adds a modest display of color to the landscape.
This tree will live up to 50 years. It is native to Mexico.
The tree produces many small seed pods which are not overly noticeable. Some seedlings may show up in landscape beds.
Mexican caesalpinia does not like crowding. It needs full sun and is usually used as a specimen. Space trees at least 15 feet apart.
"This colorful, drought tolerant small tree is a winner as it blooms all year. Its small size makes the tree perfect for courtyards, patios, zero lot line homes and townhouses. I just planted this small tree to replace a brittle mango that towered over my house and the neighboring properties. The tree is somewhat brittle but more wind resistant than the blow-down hibiscus, yellow cassias and tabebuias. The small size will make it easy to right the plant after a storm. I can already see new flowers coming out after 3 days in the ground. A sheltered location is best against the wind. The tree needs little water once established and will grow near the ocean with wind protection. The irregular growth habit is interesting.
Mexican caesalpinia blooms all year but is most prolific with bloom in the late winter and spring. A purple leaved groundcover like purple queen or variegated dwarf oyster plant would set the tree off nicely and protect it from the weed whacker. I planted perennial begonias under the tree with red, white, and pink blooms. I expect they will be somewhat stressed until the tree starts to shade them.
Plant the tree ¼ inch above grade to allow for settling. Full sun is necessary for this tree. Do not crowd it with other big shrubs or trees. Mexican caesalpinia does not require fertilizer but an application of palm fertilizer in March, June and October will speed up the growth rate.
The tree requires only minimal pruning. Crossing, rubbing branches should be removed as necessary.
The tree requires little water after it is established. It can tolerate twice weekly watering so is agreeable with other landscape plantings.
The tree must have sharp draining soil. It tolerates high pH and sterile soil. Moderate to good salt tolerance. It should receive some protection from direct salty winds. The tree is somewhat brittle so needs protection from direct wind in general.
The tree is hearty in plant zones 10-11.
This one is planted in my garden near the house simply because it’s beautiful and anything with the potential to bloom year round gets my attention. The medium green leaves have a bluish hue in contrast with the bright cadmium yellow flower spikes that may appear at any time during the year, there are also many months when the tree will flower in a continuous succession. I like to see the delicate flowers at close range but feel the tree stands up well when viewed in the landscape.
Easy to maintain the delicate small leaflets simply disappear as they curl up and blow away or fall into the lawn or garden. As a horticulturalist I shouldn’t confess this but the brittle stems make pruning a snap that means I don’t even use my clippers when working on this tree. If a branch is in my way or out of sorts I simply snap it off. Care should be taken when pruning as the branch structure can also add quite a lot to its aesthetics. If the tree has a few limbs break in a storm they’ll quickly regrow and as it ages this will only add to trunks developing an almost bonsai like character.
I enjoy seeing the contrast between the gnarly old stem and the delicate foliage and fresh bright flowers. " - J Durko
Stereophorma is a slender woody shrub or small tree to plant in a skinny space for its deep green elongated foliage and showy orange and yellow flowers whose elongated pistils can't be missed!